Brexit: Buyers are pulling out of house sales following vote Leave – but overseas investors are swooping in

The immediate aftermath of Britain's decision to leave the EU appears to have slowed the rate of purchases and prompted those affected by market instability to drop out entirely.

While the UK waits with bated breath to see how bumpy Britain’s road out of the European Union might be, others are facing a more immediate question: whether to continue with a house purchase.

Since the country voted to the leave the EU on Friday estate agents and mortgage brokers have reported a number of buyers pulling out of transactions – while overseas investors are rushing in to take advantage of the bargains provided by the biggest fall in the value of Sterling for 31 years.

An agent at Chestertons reportedly lost three deals in just over an hour on Friday. Guy Gittins, sales director at Chestertons says: “We lost some deals but we gained new deals because of overseas investors so the net result by end of trading on Friday was about even.”

There has been much talk of the property market slowing. This morning London estate agent Foxtons issued a profit warning as its share price fell 16.7 per cent. “While it is too early to accurately predict how the London property sales market will respond, the upturn we were expecting during the second half of this year is now unlikely to materialise,” Nic Budden, Foxtons chief executive, said in a statement.

Lucian Cook, head of residential research at Savills, said: “It is impossible to predict what will happen to the UK housing market with any great accuracy until we know what Brexit will mean for the wider economy. What we do know from lead indicators, such as the RICS survey, is that uncertainty before the vote impacted on new buyer enquires. A continuation of that uncertainty is likely to pull back price growth and transactions in the short term.”

This morning Chancellor George Osborne warned in his speech that "it will not be plain sailing in the days ahead" but he did not repeat his pre-referendum warnings that Brexit would cause house prices to nosedive. He instead warned investors not to delay until the Conservative Party has appointed a new leader, suggesting a "pause" could be very damaging for the British economy in the interim.

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