UK house sales stronger than normal in August - Rightmove

LONDON (Reuters) - August, normally a quiet month for Britain’s property market, has seen a surge in sales, possibly due to buyers seeking to conclude transactions before the country leaves the European Union on Oct. 31, property website Rightmove said on Monday.

Rightmove said sales in the August period, which cover the four weeks to Aug. 10, were 6.1% higher than a year earlier and their strongest for the month since 2015, bucking a generally sluggish trend since June 2016’s referendum on leaving the European Union.

“While the end of October Brexit outcome remains uncertain, more buyers are now going for the certainty of doing a deal, with some having perhaps hesitated earlier in the year,” Rightmove director Miles Shipside said.

New Prime Minister Boris Johnson has promised to take Britain out of the EU by Oct. 31, even if that means leaving without a transition deal - something most economists think will cause major disruption to businesses and overseas trade.

But British consumers have largely shrugged off Brexit worries so far, bolstered by a strong labour market and the fastest increases in wages in 11 years, in contrast to businesses, which have held back from making major investments.

House price inflation has slowed since June 2016, according to official figures. But this has largely been driven by price falls in London and surrounding areas, which have been most affected by higher property taxes on expensive housing and fears of post-Brexit job losses in the financial services sector.

WHICH BRITISH CITY IS BETTER THAN SPAIN FOR EXPATS?

GLASGOW has topped Madrid in a new study ranking the best global cities in which to be an expat.

The Expat City Index has rated 70 cities around the world and ranked them according to four major categories: Economics, Living, Environment and Urbanisation, and Family and Society.

The index was compiled by LoanLink, a German online mortgage company.

Scotland’s second city Glasgow was the only British urban centre to make it into the top 10, coming fifth ahead of both Madrid and Melbourne.

The best cities to be an expat in were Ottawa, Canada and Canberra and Wellington in Australia and New Zealand respectively.

Spain’s capital mainly lost out due to a perceived low immigration tolerance, which the report puts down to the fact only 13% of the Spanish population are foreign born.

Whereas Glasgow performed well as a result of an affordable house price to income ratio which was a third of that of London.

London is still one-of-a-kind for finance

London is still one-of-a-kind for finance

As people across the City head off on their travels over the summer holidays, there is no better time to reflect on the exciting opportunities for the UK across the globe as our future trading relationship comes into sharp focus.