UK Economy

Prices of UK homes for sale see biggest fall in 9 months in August - Rightmove

A security fence is seen in the Aylesbury Estate in south London, Britain October 15, 2015. REUTERS/Neil Hall

LONDON (Reuters) - The price of homes for sale in England and Wales fell in August, posting the biggest drop since November, as the summer lull added to uncertainty surrounding Britain’s decision to leave the European Union, property website Rightmove said on Monday.

Asking prices fell by a monthly 1.2 percent, according to a survey by Rightmove that covers properties put on sale between July 10 and Aug. 6, after shedding 0.9 percent in July.

The biggest drop was in London and the South East, with asking prices falling by 2.6 percent and 2.0 percent respectively.

“Many prospective buyers take a summer break from home-hunting, and those who come to market at this quieter time of year tend to price more aggressively,” Miles Shipside, Rightmove director and housing market analyst, said.

“This summer is also affected by both Brexit uncertainty and the aftermath of the buy-to-let rush in March to beat the stamp duty deadline.”

Britain voted to leave the European Union in a referendum on June 23 - a decision many economists think could tip the economy into recession and which prompted the Bank of England to cut interest rates for the first time since 2009 earlier this month.

Official data covering the period after the referendum has been scarce, but there are patchy signs that consumer spending held up, while data on the housing market following the vote has been mixed.

The monthly drop in prices reduced the annual increase to 4.1 percent in August from 4.5 percent in July, Rightmove said, adding that the survey covered 90 percent of the market.

Reporting by Ana Nicolaci da Costa; Editing by Robin Pomeroy