Housing activity plummeted in June

Ryan Bembridge

July 14, 2016

Housing activity plummeted in June in the form of new buyer enquiries and properties coming to market, anecdotal evidence in the RICS UK Residential Market Survey suggests.

In June 36% more chartered surveyors reported a fall in interest – which reached its lowest ebb since mid-2008.

Meanwhile 45% more chartered surveyors saw a fall in new instructions, the steepest on record and there was a fall in the supply of available properties all over the UK barring Northern Ireland.

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Simon Rubinsohn, RICS chief economist, said: “Big events such as elections typically do unsettle markets so it is no surprise that the EU referendum has been associated with a downturn in activity.

“However even without the build up to the vote and subsequent decision in favour of Brexit, it is likely that the housing numbers would have slowed during the second quarter of the year, following the rush in many parts of the country from buy to let investors to secure purchases ahead of the tax changes.

“RICS data does suggest that the dip in activity will persist over the coming months but the critical influence looking further ahead is how the economy performs in the wake of the uncertainty triggered by the vote to leave.

“Respondents to the survey are understandably cautious but with interest rates heading lower and sterling significantly so, it remains to be seen whether the concerns about a possible stalling in both corporate investment and recruitment are justified’’

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