One winner in Brexit turmoil: London homebuyers

Prices dropped the most in a decade as uncertainty over EU exit leads worried sellers to cut asking prices
May 18, 2019 09:00AM

(Credit: iStock)

(Credit: iStock)

Uncertainty over Brexit is helping turn some of London’s prime neighborhoods into true buyers’ markets.

Home prices in some of the city’s most sought-after districts fell by the most in a decade during the first quarter as worried sellers cut prices in order to find buyers, according to Bloomberg. That led to a sharp rise in transactions as buyers flooded the market looking for deals.

With British politicians unable to agree on a way to formally exit the European Union, almost half of sellers of homes under 2 million pounds ($2.6 million) were cutting their asking prices before finding buyers, according to data from LonRes cited by Bloomberg. Buyers got an average 13.4 percent discount on properties in the area known as prime central London, the data showed.

Properties over 5 million pounds saw prices decrease 6.6 percent and sales rise 3 percent in the first quarter year on year, the first gain in more than a year, the data show.

The situation in London is just one of the wide-ranging effects of the Brexit turmoil on real estate in Europe.

As the U.K.’s struggles to exit the E.U. continue, financial industries are moving shop to the Irish capital of Dublin, fueling a property boom that lenders and investors want to cash in on.

In Frankfurt, prices for office properties have increased to record levels on speculation that Brexit will lead professional talent and financial capital to relocate to Germany. [Bloomberg] — John O’Brien