Sales halve in central London as EU referendum rattles buyers’ nerves

After a period of increased activity as buyers rushed to beat the April Stamp Duty deadline, the prime central London is experiencing a subdued market.

Sales have halved since March, while at least one agent, W.A. Ellis, is advising landlords to cut rents.

The slowdown is the direct result of uncertainty ahead of the EU referendum, according to estate agency W.A. Ellis.

Richard Barber, director at W.A. Ellis, said: “According to LonRes, only 110 houses have sold within SW1, SW3, SW7, SW10, W8, and W14, which is indicative not just of the hesitancy surrounding the EU referendum, but the huge increase in the cost of moving at the upper end of the market.

“Various apocalyptic visions of what may or may not happen if we leave the EU on June 23 have continued to confound the electorate over the last two months.

“As a result, it would appear that buying a new property has been put on hold by the majority of potential purchasers until the future of the UK is determined.”

Lucy Morton, head of agency, said: “There are reports of recruitment freezes across the city and firms delaying relocating staff to London to see what awaits the UK post-referendum.

“This has had an impact on prices and the unprecedented surplus of stock has put further downward pressure on the rental market.

“With this in mind, we have been advising landlords to reduce rents.”


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  1. undercover agent

    House prices go up and down all the time as the market naturally moves. There will be winners and losers whatever the EU vote so it is very unlikely to have an affect, some vendors will delay selling until after the vote keeping stock scarce and so prices high now, and some buyers will wait until after, keeping prices temporally low. This balances it self out so the EU vote is not the root cause of the effect the London agents are seeing, more likely to be the new tax rules for investors and new mortgage rules (from the EU) that make it harder for investors to borrow money.

    1. RealAgent

      No, its the referendum and the effect is not just being felt in London either. To suggest otherwise is just “leave” spin.


  2. Farmer

    It’s the same ‘up north’ while the number of listings has probably halved, the number of sales agreed is somewhat less.

    If it turns out to be a ‘No’ vote I’d start and look to re-deploying staff cleaning cars or walking dogs for the summer.

  3. Property Paddy

    On the Welsh boarders we have a sales pipeline of 35% of stock (therefore for every two properties for sale 1 under offer).

    That said we are seeing the upper market and lower market struggling but not the middle end, still activity and demand from buyers but not as much for sale as I would like (naturally).

    My guess is we will see this continue for most of this year with the upper market taking longer to sell and the lower market, normally the buy to let buyers, looking to discount to absorb Osborne’s hike in stamp duty.

    As for First time Buyers.

    I could count them on one hand and after a horrible accident where I lost most of my fingers too !

  4. Ding Dong


    On the doorsteps, most people want to leave !!!

    1. Property Paddy

      Eh ?

      Are you nuts ?

      Nose and face comes to mind.

      Just because you don’t like everything the EU does it doesn’t mean everything it does is bad.

      EU keeps us in better shape than we would be out of it.

      1. Ding Dong

        might be nuts…but if you believe uncontrolled migration is the way forward, then good luck as this country will need it

        ive worked in London and have seen the major pressures on homes and public services…if this is not dealt with, then you will see a greater rise in the far right

        No planning, no foresight, just crossing their fingers and hoping that the infrastructure can cope

        1. Property Paddy

          “but if you believe uncontrolled migration is the way forward, then good luck as this country will need it”

          And exactly how will we stop it? Half come in from outside the EU already, leaving wont make a jot of difference. If you think all the EU migrants working in Britain will pack up and leave or if you think no more will come over then you are sorely mistaken.

          We need skilled and unskilled labour in this country, we have a massive aging population, getting older fast.

          There are so many European and non European businesses integrated in to our economy that to un pick ourselves from them is impossible without causing huge financial damage to the UK economy and our jobs.

          Yes we work at a local market level but not all our clients and our buyers.

          So to leave really would be like cutting your nose off to spite your face.


          1. undercover agent

            It is not a vote to set immergration policy, it’s a vote about who sets our immergration policy, and our laws and even our tarrif rates with other countries. Voting out means you can still then vote for open boarders if you believe open boards are the way forward. Less red tape could really benefit us, because more flexibility means more deals can be done. Lower tarrifs from places like the USA and Oz, who we are unable to have trade deals with, (but still trade with) would also mean lower prices on goods we are currently encouraged to get from EU members like washing machines etc. Putting more money in tenants pockets, helping agents put fees up. A freer economy is a wealthier economy, so I don’t believe the horror stories about Brexit, although I did enjoy Brexit the movie on YouTube.


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