Berkeley Home Reservations Fell 20% in August on Taxes, Brexit

Berkeley Group Holdings said reservations for new homes dropped 20 percent in August from a year earlier as buyers delayed purchases after property taxes rose and the U.K. voted to leave the European Union.

“Pricing has remained resilient and above business plan levels with reservation cancellation rates at normal levels, following a temporary and expected increase after the U.K. referendum result,” London’s biggest homebuilder said in a filing.

Home values in London will fall for the first time since 2009 next year, according to Countrywide Plc. Demand for the most expensive homes has already been hit by higher stamp duty sales taxes, which rose 3 percent for landlords and second-home purchasers in April. Reservations in the first five months of the year were also 20 percent below the same period a year earlier, the firm said in June.

“Transaction taxes are now too high and this is restricting both mobility in the second-hand market and the pace of supply and delivery of new homes in London and the south east of England,” Berkeley said.

The company reiterated guidance of 2 billion pounds in pretax profit for the three years ending April 2018.

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