Asking prices for London homes slump to lowest since 2015

LONDON • London home asking prices fell to their weakest level in 3½ years in January as sellers spooked by Brexit held off putting their properties up for sale.

Asking prices in the capital slipped 1.5% from December to £593,972 (RM3.14 million), the lowest level since August 2015, according to Rightmove. New listings in the first two weeks of the year were 10% lower than in 2018 as owners were deterred by the cost of moving and concern about the political backdrop, the property website said.

After years of outsize gains in home values, London and its surrounding areas have so far borne the brunt of Brexit, with a lack of clarity over the future relationship with Europe causing both households and firms to hold off on investment decisions.

Listing prices in the capital have declined from a peak of almost £650,000 in May 2016, the month before Britons voted to leave the European Union.

Nationally, values rose 0.4% to £298,734, with the biggest gains in the north of England. Rightmove’s data is compiled from 70,068 properties put on sale by agents across the country from Dec 9 to Jan 12.

A separate report by Acadata, which incorporates all house transactions, showed national home prices rose 0.6% in the year to December. Excluding London and the south east, values climbed 1.4%.

Separately, shrinking chocolate bars and loaves of bread are leaving UK consumers dealing with stealth price rises, according to the Office of National Statistics. — Bloomberg