The new mood of apparent political stability promoted by supporters of Boris Johnson and Brexit appears to have failed to win over the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.
In its forecast for 2020 the institution says there will be little change in residential sales volumes despite the new certainty surrounding quitting the EU.
It says that as 2019’s market was “plagued by a shortage of stock, with average stock levels on estate agents’ books hitting a new all-time low in June” there seems little likelihood of a material pick up next year.
“This lack of impetus in sales activity, suggests house price growth will rise modestly throughout the year with the forecast predicting a 2.0 per cent rise” says a statement from the organisation.
RICS economist Tarrant Parsons adds: “Momentum across the UK housing market has remained relatively subdued, with new buyer demand showing little impetus going into the New Year.
“That said, with the Conservative party winning a clear majority, the Withdrawal Agreement will very likely be ratified in the coming weeks. This could see some confidence returning, at least for a brief spell, meaning activity may see some uplift.
“Challenges around affordability and low stock levels will continue to drag on the market, and Brexit uncertainty could resurface as the next deadline draws closer. As such, we expect house prices to rise by just 2.0 per cent next year, with the outlook for overall sales volumes broadly flat.”
And Hew Edgar, RICS’ head of engagement and cities strategy, adds: “It is imperative that the new administration hits the ground running and makes headway into the plethora of housing pledges within the Conservative manifesto – ensuring they actually deliver holistic policy, as well as moving the housing sector forward with a consistent and long-term approach.”