The housing market is being stifled by political uncertainty, according to the latest survey from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).
The survey asked surveyors to comment on the current state of the housing market, as well as asking additional questions about why the market is as it is. 44 per cent of those surveyed cited domestic political uncertainty ad the key factor driving the current state of the housing market. This marks a significant proportion in comparison to the 27 per cent who described Brexit as the most important factor.
Figures from the surveyors also revealed that house prices in the south of the country are on the decline, with 45 per cent of respondents claiming this. In contrast, in Northern Ireland, 41 per cent more surveyors saw a rise in prices in June. In Wales 38 per cent of respondents also saw an increase.
The West Midlands and the north also saw consistent price growth, with net balances of 33 per cent and 28 per cent respectively. This is likely stimulated by a lack of market supply, as new instructions fell for the sixteenth month in a row, whilst average stock levels hit a new low.
RICS chief economist, Simon Rubinsohn, said: ‘High end prime properties may be seeing prices slipping back but, for good or ill, prices are continuing to move higher in many other segments of the market. Perhaps not surprisingly in the current environment, the term ‘uncertainty’ is featuring more heavily in the feedback we are receiving from professionals working in the sector. This seems to be exerting itself on transaction levels which are flatlining and may continue to do so for a while particularly given the ongoing challenge presented by the low level of stock on the market.”
Managing director of Access Financial Services in Dagenham, Michael O’Brien, added: ‘Obviously Brexit is a factor, but I think that people also underestimated the effect of buy to let as a proportion of the market. When that was taken away it had more of an effect than people expected.’