Toxic effect for sellers in Salisbury as house prices plummet since Russian spy poisoning

The spy poisoning scandal in Salisbury has had a toxic result for local house sellers.

Research using Land Registry and data found that average prices have fallen almost by almost 9% since the Wiltshire city became the centre of an international scandal when a former Russian spy and his daughter were poisoned with the novichok nerve agent in March.

The research revealed that ‘sold’ house prices in the Wiltshire city, from the start of February to the end of April 2018, averaged £328,243 but fell by 8.8% to £299,207 between May and July.

In comparison, across the whole of Wiltshire average prices increased by 1.7% over both three-month periods, according to the research,

It also seems more Salisbury home owners are now trying to sell their properties since the poisoning that claimed two more victims, one of whom died.

The percentage of new listings by estate agents in Salisbury rose by almost a fifth (19%) between the beginning of May and end of July, compared with the start of February and end of April.

Suchit Sethi, founder of, which carried out the research, said: “Over the past seven months, Salisbury has been at the centre of an international scandal.

“The research we’ve carried out suggests the scandal may have fed its way through to the local property market, too.

“Prices have fallen disproportionately in Salisbury and the events this year may well be what has driven that decline.

“It’s possible that the relentless media attention focused on the city has stirred up doubts in the minds of some prospective buyers and contributed to a drop-off in demand. Equally, the scandal may have caused a surge in people putting their homes on the market.

“Over time things will almost certainly recalibrate to the norm, but for now the Salisbury property appears anything but normal.”

Average ‘sold’ house prices for Salisbury, Wiltshire and surrounding counties


Average sold property price – Feb 2018 to April 2018

Average sold property price – May 2018 to July 2018

% Rise/Fall in property prices






























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  1. P-Daddy

    Poor old Salisbury. It will not only be down to the incident though, although it is an easy claim to make and will have some validity. Behind it is also is the fact the Council are failing the city in its vision and the average prices were ahead of a lot of Wiltshire, yet the socio economics and limited employment outside of the army and farming, don’t support the high prices. It is also on the edge of the commuter belt, so the London money is starting to lose its influence there.

    What is now happening according to information I have provided by Johnny English intelligence services is there are some very bright bio chemists flocking into the area around Porton and Boscombe, big investment in Apache helicopters at the Army Air Corps, so high pay grade employment is moving in. The only issue is that they are likely to bring about the end of the world -) There is some nasty stuff there and its ours! Sorry got distracted whilst trying to a push an exchange over the line…

  2. Tim Higham Head of Conveyancing Trethowans LLP

    Thankfully, the reality is not even close.
    It continues to be THE place to buy and sell. 
    Salisbury almost seems immune from economic woes with prices actually rising during the downturn from 2007, and now by 2018, no real signs of letting up – while areas just 20 miles away in all directions were hit. Then again, the City does have so much to offer, aside from being such a friendly City (Smallsbury we say) so I am not really surprised.
    Even as a conveyancer here in Salisbury we are certainly seeing no slow down in local deals and certainly no price reductions.
    We cannot recruit fast enough due to the level of sales and purchases here.
    But this is not just my observation – living and breathing property transactions – having sent the article to a couple of local estate agents:
    Matt Glover from Venditum Estate Agents comments: “I’m intrigued by the sold prices statistics as personally I don’t feel house prices have fallen by any noticeable amount! My view is that any deviation in house prices, completed transactions, or supply are down to other factors than the poisonings.  I am afraid to say it’s easy to point the finger at something so sensational rather than the dreary underlying issues within the local economy, the tardiness of WCC and the affordability of properties SP postal codes.  The broader issues of the economy, Brexit and the massive limitations of the mortgage market are far bigger factors influencing any change is house prices.  It is certainly not down to a flurry of properties being marketed as limited supply of quality properties is still an issue.  What may skew the statistics may be the number of new homes being sold directly by developers which have been discounted to secure sales……”
    Anthony Lovatt-Williams from Whites also comments “I don’t know where they have got their info from!! We have less houses to sell now, not more. Asking prices have come back but that is only due to realism (mainly surrounding Brexit uncertainty) and we are getting offers well within 5% of asking. Still plenty  of buyers (5 offers yesterday) and I don’t see prices moving back. ”   

  3. TwitterSalisPropNews53

    Jamie Mant of Bassets adds: ” The figures which are being quoted are not a true representation of a negative price change due to the referred to incident. The reported drop actually relates to the first 3 months of the year as those properties that would have exchanged contract post Novichok will actually have been agreed in the 1st quarter of the year therefore reflecting the slow start the local market had in 2018 predominantly due to the prolonged cold snap we had. In fact we have a very strong 2nd ¼ where demand outstripped supply.”



  4. Lil Bandit

    Blaming Russia again I see!


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