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London housing: Brexit vote sees wealthy Londoners turn to renting



Wealthy potential housebuyers sitting on their hands after the Brexit vote and turning instead to the London rental market has led to a record number of luxury lettings, a new report has revealed.

Estate agent Knight Frank said the number of central London tenancies agreed in the £500-to-£5000-per-week bracket surged 12% in August from the previous month. 

In the three months to August, lettings jumped 15.7%.

Viewings in the prime central London market, which includes areas such as Mayfair and Marylebone, also increased.

Tim Hyatt, head of lettings at Knight Frank, said: “Continued uncertainty created predominantly by higher stamp-duty rates but exaggerated by Brexit has led to an increase in prospective tenants and landlords.”

As a result of the extra supply, rental values decreased 4.7% in the year to September.

Would-be sellers have also been spooked by forecasts that central London house prices will fall sharply this year.

Properties are also taking longer to sell.

House price growth tails off

British house price growth has cooled further, Halifax said on Friday, adding to concerns of a slowdown in the housing market since the Brexit vote.

The mortgage lender said prices in the three months to September were 0.1% lower than the previous quarter

Average prices stand at £212,024.

Halifax’s housing economist Martin Ellis said: “The housing market has followed a steady downward trend over the past six months with clear evidence of both a softening in activity levels and an easing in house price inflation.”

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