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Brexit and Carney are to blame for slowing house sales, claims RICS

The latest market snapshot from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors suggests the number of properties on estate agents’ books is now nearing record lows - with worse to come over the next 12 months.

Simon Rubinsohn, RICS chief economist, says there are a number of causes “but uncertainty relating to Brexit negotiations is at the very top of the list followed by references to the confidential remarks made by the Bank of England governor to the cabinet.

“All of this is not surprisingly taking its toll on the sales market with the key activity indicator in the survey flat or slightly negative in all parts of the country apart from Northern Ireland and Wales.”


The time to complete a sale from initial listing has increased to around 19 weeks.

The RICS snapshot is primarily a sentiment survey rather than a statistical analysis, but demand from new buyers has now been relatively flat for some five months, suggesting to the institution that prices may drop in the coming months. 


The RICS survey is particularly pessimistic about London; some 47 per cent more surveyors in the capital said they expected a fall rather than a rise in house prices in the next three months.

By contrast, prices continued to rise slightly in most other areas. 

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    This doesn't seem very plausible to me. Online agents have been reporting an absolute flood of properties on to the market, in the overvalued South East anyway. As for the cause of price declines, it is just wrong, and disingeniuous, to blame things like Brexit or stamp duty. Everywhere from New York to Sydney the top end is collapsing. NYC doesn't have Brexit does it? And prices are falling for same reason all prices all (for centuries), and that is that prices were too high to sustain demand. In London everyone can see that prices were only being sustained by zero interest rates and foreign speculation. Now both of these are being removed prices will come down to earth. Ain't rocket science.

  • David Clark

    Not seeing an '...absolute flood of properties on to the market' with online or High Street agents in our area (Cambridgeshire). I don't think you can ignore the effects of stamp duty, Brexit and the comments of Mark Carney in the overall mix of factors that affect a market. Markets everywhere work on confidence - that's markets for cars, clothes, shares - everything. Yes, the London / South East property values are high, but 'overvalued'? Property in London is not only sold to foreign speculators and interest rates are still relatively very low. People and the confidence to buy at whatever price make the market and values what they are. Suck out or undermine the confidence and people hesitate, put off buying or hedge their bets on how much they pay - so prices fall to attract them back in. Brexit and Mr Carney have their due share of the blame.

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    • Mr P
    • 11 October 2018 08:57 AM

    Got to blame someone when it doesn’t work out! In my mind there’s only one is and that’s the way STAMP DUTY is set up.

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    I think the combination of all the negatives from the outrageous taxes, stamp duty, the idiot Mark Carney and Brexit all contribute to the general malaise in the market, in London anyway.

  • Brit Miller

    House prices were always going to to fall, they simply went up so quickly that everyone got caught in rabid speculation. Interest rates were slashed to nothing, foriegn buyers poured in as their savings were at risk from collapsing banks round the world. We also went crazy giving 40% deposits with Help To Buy London selling socalled affordable 1 bed flats at £600k which sent out price ripples to the SouthEast as people moved futher out. We simply had a giant bubble which could last for ever before it collapsed.

    Blame Brexit, blame stamp duty, blame rising mortgage rated but the simple reason were prices were far tohigh and never sustainable. Prices will continue to fall till house prices become affordable again.


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