Housing market ‘settles down’ post-Brexit, says RICS

The price of houses and sales will likely continue to rise in the aftermath of the Brexit vote, with prices predicted to go up by 3.3% a year over the next five years, per the latest poll of surveyors.

BREXIT The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) found that a higher proportion of surveyors expected sales to rise in the next three months than at any time since February.

Simon Rubinsohn, chief economist at RICS, says:

“There are clear signs that the housing market is settling down after the initial surprise of the outcome to the EU referendum.

“Buyer enquiries did dip again in August but only modestly and, more significantly, sales expectations are beginning to edge upwards once again. It is likely the swift response from the Bank of England, both in terms of the lowering of the capital buffer and the cut in interest rates, has played a role in helping to support confidence.”

The poll suggests that both prices and sales are set to rise over both the next three months and 12 months as market activity becomes more stable.

While surveyors reported price increases in most parts of the UK, in London the picture was less positive, with 30% more surveyors reporting a drop-in house prices in August, as opposed to a rise.

In general, surveyors are more confident about the future though, with 10% more respondents anticipating house price growth over the next three months rather than prices falling.

Price expectations for the next 12 months are also more positive, with surveyors anticipating modest increases in most parts of the country outside London.

RICS reports that the volume of agreed house sales stabilised in August, with its agreed sales indicator rising from -32% to zero. It suggests that the continuing shortage of housing stock has had a knock-on effect on rising prices. Surveyors report a drop in the number of houses on estate agents’ books for the third month in a row, nearing December’s record low.

Surveyors also reported a drop-in demand for homes from new buyers although the pace of this decline has eased. A net balance of -7% more chartered surveyors reported a fall in demand in August – up from -25% in July.

Commenting on the report, Andrew McPhillips, chief economist at Yorkshire Building Society, says:

“Activity in the housing market appears to have recovered following uncertainty caused by the EU referendum and the effects of the increase in stamp duty for landlords.

“Although these statistics, along with other favourable economic reports for August, paint a positive picture, they could also be the beginning of the choppy market conditions we are likely to see in the medium term because of people’s uncertainty around how post-Brexit UK will look.”

References: Moneywise