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Double-whammy of Brexit, election hits UK housing market: survey

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The number of properties put up for sale in Britain has fallen by the most in any month in more than 10 years as the combination of Brexit and an election weighs on the market, a survey showed on Monday.

[LONDON] The number of properties put up for sale in Britain has fallen by the most in any month in more than 10 years as the combination of Brexit and an election weighs on the market, a survey showed on Monday.

There were 14.9 per cent fewer properties put on sale in the four weeks to Nov 9 than in the same period last year, property website Rightmove said.

That was the biggest annual fall since August 2009, shortly after the global financial crisis.

"I've seen lots of unusual events affecting the property market in my 40-year career, but a Brexit deadline followed by a snap general election six weeks later is obviously a new combination," Miles Shipside, Rightmove director, said.

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson has called a Dec 12 election in a bid to break a deadlock in parliament over his plan for taking Britain out of the European Union, the deadline for which has been delayed until Jan 31 from Oct 31.

Rightmove said some would-be sellers of property might be waiting to see if Britain's next government reforms the stamp duty tax on property transactions which might reduce the cost of acquiring a new home.

The average price of property coming to market rose by an annual 0.3 per cent, in line with other measures showing house prices almost flat-lining, and the number of sales agreed was down by 2.9 per cent, Rightmove said. 

REUTERS