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.