London house prices fall again as stamp duty, Brexit fears worry buyers

Source: Xinhua| 2018-10-02 23:34:10|Editor: yan
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LONDON, Oct. 2 (Xinhua) -- House prices have fallen in the capital for the fifth quarter in a row as high prices, stamp duty changes, and Brexit uncertainty have put off buyers, the Guardian newspaper reported on Tuesday.

The average price of a London home fell by 0.7 percent in the third quarter, compared with the same period last year, to 468,544 pounds (608,151 U.S. dollars), according to mortgage lender Nationwide. This followed a 1.9-percent drop in prices in the second quarter.

Despite the fall, London remains the most expensive place to buy a property by some margin, with average prices more than twice the national average of 216,103 pounds (280,449 U.S. dollars).

London has become a weak spot in the British property market, with many home buyers unable to afford a house, said the newspaper.

Meanwhile, a higher rate of stamp duty on second homes has affected buyer appetite in London, and international buyers traditionally attracted by the London property market are being deterred by uncertainty surrounding Brexit negotiations, according to analysts.

Nationwide's chief economist Robert Gardner said that after a long period where prices rose faster in London than elsewhere in the UK, a period of under-performance was to be expected.

"When you look at the affordability measures, such as house prices versus earnings, they look quite stretched in London compared with other parts of the country," he said.

Property prices in the capital are only 3.0 percent below the record highs achieved in early 2017, and are still 50 percent higher than they were in 2007 before the financial crisis.