Uncertainty caused by Brexit is causing buyers and sellers to sit tight in increasing numbers across the UK, according to the November 2018 RICS UK Residential Market Survey.
Looking at London, the results from the latest survey continue to show a weaker trend in sales with demand and supply falling once again, as almost half of respondents to the survey across the UK as a whole cite political uncertainty caused by Brexit as impacting the UK housing market.
The number of people looking for a new home fell again in November in London (net balance of -14% down from -11% in October), with many comments attributing this to Brexit uncertainty. Another contributing factor is the continued limited choice of properties for sale. The number of new properties being listed for sale fell for the fifth consecutive report, and the net balance of -32% was the fastest pace of decline in supply since June 2016.
This lack of new stock is impacting estate agents’ average stock levels with agents in the UK now only having, on average, 42.1 homes for sale. The number of new appraisals by property valuers is also down in comparison to a year earlier.
With little choice for new buyers and fewer people interested in moving, the number of agreed sales fell in November. The London net balance moved to -34% from -16% and this sentiment is reflected in almost all areas of the UK.
Looking ahead, contributors don’t see any change on the horizon. Sales expectations, for the coming three months in the capital fell from -29% to –34% in November.
The impact of softer demand is also visible in the London price balance which slipped from -46% to -47% in November. As seen in previous months, the regional picture remains varied, with house prices falling most notably in London, South East and East Anglia whilst the South West, East Midlands and North East are broadly flat. Rises were seen in Northern Ireland, Scotland, West Midlands, Wales, Yorkshire & Humber and the North West.