The housing market has been put ‘on hold’ by the General Election, according to a report published today.
A closely watched survey by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) claims ‘persistent economic and political uncertainty is deterring both buyers and vendors’.
New enquiries from prospective buyers slipped in November for the third month in a row, as 9 per cent more respondents saw a decline in enquiries than a rise.
RICS members, who include chartered surveyors and estate agents, also reported a fall both in sales and new instructions to sell.
The average number of properties on estate agents’ books remains close to record lows at around 41 per branch, as more households stay put.
But the market expected to pick up over the next 12 months once the General Election is out of the way. A third more respondents anticipated house prices will rise rather than fall.
Simon Rubinsohn, chief economist of RICS, said: ‘Confidence is critical to a well-functioning housing market and whatever happens in the General Election today, it is important that the new government provides reassurance both over the stewardship of the economy and the ongoing challenges around Brexit, which continues to be highlighted in a disproportionate number of remarks made by respondents to the RICS survey.
‘Significantly, despite the inevitable near-term concerns, the feedback regarding the medium-term view of the market remains surprisingly sanguine, with the 12-month sales expectations indicator at its best level since the early part of 2017.’
A report published by Halifax last week indicated that house prices rebounded in November, despite uncertainty over the election.
It said the average price of a home rose 1 per cent to £234,625 last month – the biggest rise since February.
Source: Thisismoney/ CRN