Brexit has sparked a huge surge in failed sales in London with alarmed buyers pulling out according to the London Standard.
Thousands of sales have collapsed since the Brexit vote with the fallout being most severe in the centre of the capital where agents reported that up to two thirds of the offers they were handling on the day of the Referendum were withdrawn or are now being renegotiated. They are now desperately scrambling to keep chains of buyers and sellers intact.
According to figures from reallymoving.com, central London prices slumped 12% in the first month after the Referendum with 10% coming in the first week when political turmoil was at its peak. Chief Executive Rob Houghton said “That was an unheard of fall, I’ve never seen a week where we’ve seen a change that dramatic.”
Another agent said there are increasing numbers of desperate vendors prepared to accept previously unthinkable price cuts. Winkworths in Marylebone said “The rule of thumb is that people are offering 10% below but we have had offers at 50% below. There are lots of French people around here who are almost taking it personally. They don’t feel welcome.”
Many involve chains of family homes across London’s residential areas and out into the suburbs. One couple in Forest Hill lost a £605,000 offer on their house within hours of the result. Another family lost the buyer for their three bedroom terraced house when the sale fell through because of Brexit. This resulted in them losing the house they were buying in Bristol where their children had already secured places at schools there for the next term. Their buyers were a German couple who had lived and worked in London for a long time but pulled out due to concerns over the Referendum result saying they don’t feel welcome here anymore.
Another couple withdrew their offer on a house in East Dulwich due to concerns over Brexit with the wife being German. The Milfords felt they could no longer take on the commitment of buying a house. Mr Milford said “Everything was ready to go – and then the Referendum came along. A big part of our identity is that we are European and we weren’t sure fundamentally whether we wanted to stay in the country given the Brexit referendum result. Even if we are going to stay there is a big worry for people that you would be buying at the height of the market. There’s a lot of nervousness. I felt really bad for the woman we were buying from.”
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