London deals fall through and thousands of asking prices cut – claim

Thousands of asking prices across London have been slashed since the Brexit vote and hundreds of deals have fallen through, the Evening Standard has claimed.

But outside London, the picture seems completely different. Agents belonging to the Relocation Network, with over 700 offices nationwide, have painted a “consistently calm picture” of “business as usual”.

The Standard’s story comes up with examples of big price cuts, including a first-floor apartment in Belsize Park, put on the market in May at £1.5m but cut to £1.05m on the day the referendum outcome was made clear.

Another flat, in Whitechapel, has had its price cut from £1.1m to £720,000.

A house in Streatham that was listed at an initial £1.3m is now £850,000.

According to the Standard, an analysis of 13,000 homes listed on Zoopla suggests that one in six have had a price cut since the Leave vote.

The story quotes Henry Pryor as saying: “I do not believe that a whole load of foreigners are going to come to the rescue of the market having seen the currency change.

“I have three buyers, two from Italy and one from Brazil, who are really worried about the welcome they are going to get when they touch down at Heathrow.

“They have seen some of the images of racism since the vote and they are saying ‘Is this the Britain we want to buy into?’”

The paper also claims that “hundreds” of agreed deals in London have fallen through following the Brexit vote.

Separately, the Financial Times has reported that over £650m worth of commercial property deals in the City of London have collapsed since the vote.

Outside London, Simon Bradbury, of Thomas Morris in St Ives, Huntingdon, says that “surprisingly little” has changed.

In a blog on our Arena section, he reports an email exchange between members of the Relocation Agent Network which “painted a consistently calm picture”.

Agents in RAN report very few fall-throughs, with Malcolm Prescott, managing director of 15-branch Webbers in the west country, reporting: “I am only aware of two sales falling through where clients claim that the Brexit decision was the reason! On the other side we have tied up sales in the main over 400K where sellers have taken sensible offers (not under-sold) rather than hold out for a higher figure.”

Another agent, Chris Willey of Wilsons in Taunton, told EYE he had not had a single fall-through, but that “most sellers have, in discussion with us, carefully reviewed their asking prices”.

He said this had resulted in more sales being agreed, and increased viewings. He said: “Our take is that there has been no immediate fall in actual sales or sales falling through, more a clear need for realistic pricing.”

Buying agent Edward Heaton was quoted in the Standard story, which appears to have omitted some of what he said in a press release.

The release, also received by EYE, said: “So far it has been business as usual, although of course, this might be the calm before the storm.

“Having spoken to most of the main selling agents in both London and the country, they are not reporting any significant change in sentiment and it has had virtually no effect on transactions.”

However, his prediction that asking prices would fall heavily on new developments in London was used by the Standard.

A small one bedroom apartment at Nine Elms, London, that started with an asking price of £910,000 is now being offered at £799,000.

JULY 4, 2016 | ROSALIND RENSHAW

Has your property's value increased? Call 01233 501601