77% of respondents to the latest RICS residential market survey cited Brexit uncertainty as the biggest challenge in the market at present. Just 8% believe Brexit is having no affect on buyers and sellers and 71% believe the current political situation is impacting both.
The survey shows that the market continued to struggle for momentum in February, with key indicators on enquiries, sales and new instructions all remaining subdued. Buyer demand reportedly fell for the seventh consecutive month and the pace of decline accelerated compared to the January results. After Brexit, respondents cited a lack of stock as the second most significant challenge, as the average number of properties on estate agents’ books returned to a record low in February. The volume of agreed sales also continued to slip, with virtually all parts of the UK displaying a flat or negative trend in RICS' latest results. The most negative feedback continues to come from London, and the South East, as well as East Anglia and the South West. Scotland and Northern Ireland are now the only parts of the UK displaying positive price growth, while all remaining areas exhibit a flat trend at present. This marks a noticeable change compared to six months ago, when eight out of the twelve regions covered by the survey were still seeing prices increase. However respondents still foresee price growth resuming across most parts of the UK over the next 12 months. London and the South East are the only exceptions, with a further decline anticipated in the former and a flat picture for the latter.