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Brexit takes a toll on UK housing market

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13/12/2018
House prices will drop and fewer homes will be sold over the next three, according to the latest report from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

The report, which gathers the sentiment of surveyors around the country, showed that Brexit is taking a toll. Simon Rubinsohn, RICS’ chief economist, said: “I can’t recall a previous survey when a single issue has been highlighted by quite so many contributors.”

There is widespread stagnation in the market with fewer people wanting to sell or move. As a result, each home is taking an average of four months to sell, longer than at any point in the past two years.

As seen in previous months, the regional picture remains varied, with house prices in London, the South East and East Anglia hit hardest while the South West, East Midlands and North East were broadly flat. Rises were seen in Northern Ireland, Scotland, West Midlands, Wales, Yorkshire & Humber and the North West.

RICS is also concerned that Brexit may also impact the rate of house-building, as housebuilders hold off making commitments until there is clarity on the situation. Hew Edgar, head of policy at RICS said: “It appears that those looking to buy and sell homes across the price spectrum, as well as those looking to invest in the UK’s residential sector, are putting off decisions until there is more certainty.”

Most surveyors are considerably more pessimistic about the market than they were a month before.

Steve Seal, director of sales and marketing, Bluestone Mortgages, comments on today’s RICS Market Survey:  “RICS continues to show that strains within the market are not exclusive to London, nor the south as some may assume. With the current environment, there is a lot of uncertainty and many buyers are choosing to wait until the new year before making the biggest financial decision of their lives. As political uncertainty looms, borrowers need to be reassured that affordable lending can still be accessed.”

 

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