News from RICS

Brexit continued to affect the housing market during March although a more positive attitude among surveyors appears to be returning as people become ‘tired’ of waiting for an outcome, it has been reported.

RICS latest survey of the housing market has found that both sales and new property coming onto the market continued to decline.

Enquiries from new buyers dropped for the eight month in a row with a quarter of the surveyors canvassed reporting fewer new enquiries from buyers, and a similar drop in the number of completed sales.

But the decline is slowing; last month a greater proportion of surveyors said the market was weakening, although a decline in new instructions and new property coming onto the market continues.

This is also weakening house prices particularly in London and the South East and only Scotland and Northern Ireland experienced more buoyant markets.

“Brexit remains a major drag on activity in the market with anecdotal evidence pointing to potential buyers being reluctant to commit in the face of the heightened sense of uncertainty,” says Simon Rubinsohn, RICS’ Chief Economist (below).

Gary Barker, CEO of Reapit, says: “The decline in buyer appetite outlined in today’s RICS report shouldn’t be overestimated. There are many other factors affecting the London market, including the significant increase in overall stamp duty, increased stamp duty for foreign buyers and the economic predictions that the capital prices are reducing.

“While uncertainty is holding back some buyers, we are expecting an increase in buyer activity over the next quarter. People have become tired of waiting for a Brexit outcome.”


Published 18 April 2019