House asking price growth ‘slows’ amid Brexit fears

House asking prices are rising at the slowest rate for nearly four years amid rising inflation, fears about Brexit and a tighter lending rules, new figures suggest.

Figures from Rightmove showed a year-on-year rise of 2.3% for homes in England and Wales in the month to 11 February, the smallest since April 2013.

It was also the smallest rise for February – a time when there is typically a seasonal price spike of about 5% – since 2009.

Rightmove director Miles Shipside said: “Perhaps we’re approaching the territory where many buyers are unable or unwilling to pay what sellers are asking, given the negative combination if rises in the cost of living, tighter lending criteria, and a dose of Brexit uncertainty.”

Last June’s vote to leave the EU saw the pound plunge – a fall which has made import prices higher and is starting to feed through to higher inflation.

House price growth, as with the rest of the economy, has proved more robust than expected in the wake of the referendum though is expected to slow this year.

Lenders Halifax and Nationwide reported slower growth in January.

Meanwhile, official figures last week showed another disappointing month for retail sales to start the year, adding to signs of weakening spending.


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