THE number of properties sold in Oxfordshire this year has fallen, as political uncertainty puts off potential buyers.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) said that constraints on affordability have also affected buyers, following significant rises in the cost of properties in recent years.

Up to the end of July, the most recent month for which data is available, 5,413 properties had been sold in Oxfordshire.

It is a seven per cent drop compared to the same seven months in 2017.

It is a picture reflected across the South East, where sales were 12 per cent down.

Across the UK, sales were lower in each month to July than in the corresponding 2017 month, and were down by 9 per cent in total.

Simon Rubinsohn, chief economist at RICS, said: “Uncertainty about the economic outlook on the back of the never-ending Brexit negotiations has become an increasing drag on transaction activity in the housing market.

“The mood music amongst buyers has also been impacted by affordability constraints as hefty price gains over recent years have pushed ever higher the size of required deposits.”

Between January and July, 999 new build homes were sold in Oxfordshire, three per cent more than the same period last year.

Meanwhile, second-hand property sales decreased by nine per cent to 4,414.

Oxford is sitll one of the most expensive places to buy a home outside London. The average property sold for £361,791 in September, 2 per cent more than a year previously.

First time buyers paid an average of £298,981 for their property.