‘Solid gains’ have been reported in house prices across Wales, Northern Ireland and north west England, but London continued to see a fall in November, according to the RICS.
What’s the latest?
Economic uncertainty and a shortage of homes for sale continued to weigh on the property market in November.
House prices remained flat as the number of people looking to buy a property declined further, according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).
The supply crisis deepened with the number of homes being put up for sale falling for the 22nd month in a row.
Unsurprisingly, given the fall in both supply and demand, there was a further drop in the number of sales agreed, although the pace of decline moderated slightly compared with previous months.
Why is this happening?
The current lack of activity is being driven by a combination of low supply and uncertainty over the UK’s post-Brexit future.
The shortage of homes on the market is deterring existing homeowners from trading up the ladder as they cannot find anywhere they want to buy.
At the same time, the economic uncertainty caused by Brexit is causing potential buyers to delay making a decision until the outlook is clearer.
The lack of houses for sale is supporting property values despite the fall in demand, preventing price falls but meaning affordability remains stretched.Above: In Plympton, Plymouth, this two-bedroom terraced home is for sale for £160,000
Who does it affect?
While the property market was flat across the UK as a whole, there continued to be considerable regional variation.
Estate agents are most negative in London, where more than half reported falling prices.
New sales were also reported to be flat or falling across most regions of the country, with the exception of Wales and Northern Ireland.Above: This three-bedroom terraced home in Barry, Wales, is on the market for £110,000
Sounds interesting. What’s the background?
Going forward, the majority of estate agents expect activity in the market to remain flat for the next three months.
House price expectations were negative in London and the south east, but agents in the north west, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland were more optimistic.
Simon Rubinsohn, RICS chief economist, said: “It remains to be seen whether the scrapping of stamp duty for first-time buyers announced in the Budget will provide much of a lift for the market.
“There was not much evidence of this in the latest survey, which was conducted after the change in policy, and while most independent analysis casts doubt on whether there will be much follow through, it is still early days.”
Do you qualify for the Chancellor's first-time buyers' stamp duty break? Check out our Q&AAbove: Available for £150,000 in St Leonards-on-Sea, Hastings, is this two-bedroom flat, on the second floor of a converted Victorian period property
Top 3 takeaways
- Economic uncertainty and a shortage of homes for sale continued to weigh on the property market in November
- House prices remained flat and the number of prospective buyers continued to decline
- The supply crisis deepened with the number of homes being put up for sale falling for the 22nd month in a row
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