Confidence returns to property market post-Brexit vote

New research by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has revealed an upturn in the UK residential property market following the EU referendum.

According to the latest RICS UK Residential Market Survey, the UK housing market showed a rise in confidence, following a significant drop in activity and price expectations in the wake of the EU vote.

Based on its survey, RICS has predicted that UK house prices and sales will rise over the next three and 12 months as activity in the market stabilises.

In August, 12% more respondents reported an increase in prices nationally, compared with 5% in July.  A key factor supporting rising prices was the continued shortage of housing stock.

However, while the survey showed prices increasing in most parts of the UK, in London the price net balance remained in negative territory for a sixth consecutive month, with 30% more respondents noting a fall in prices over the period.

The survey showed that new buyer demand had decreased slightly across the UK as a whole, although the pace of this decline, it said, had eased significantly.

Simon Rubinsohn, RICS chief economist, said: “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 more assured mood is also reflected in some of the longer-term RICS indicators, although this in itself could serve to reignite ongoing concerns surrounding affordability with five-year projections for both prices and rents in the latest survey back to their highest level since May.”

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