United Kingdom: UK house prices fall at fastest rate in six years on back of Brexit – RICS.
The looming threat of Brexit has dragged down the UK property market further, with prices falling at the fastest rate in six years and the outlook for sales the weakest in two decades, according to Britain’s surveyors.
The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) said the number of inquiries, agreed sales and new instructions all declined in December.
Sales expectations for the next three months were the lowest since the survey began in 1999, with a balance of -28% – the difference between the number of respondents anticipating increases and the number expecting decreases.
Sales expectations were either flat or negative in every region of the UK for the period from January to March, when the UK is scheduled to leave the EU.
Separate government figures showed house prices falling for the third month in a row in November. The data prompted the EY Item Club – an economic forecasting group that bases its work on the Treasury’s economic model – to warn that house prices could fall by up to 5% this year if the UK crashes out of the EU without an agreement.
The Item Club said that if the UK leaves with a deal, prices could rise 2% over 2019. Many surveyors and estate agents interviewed by Rics described the market in December as “very quiet”, with the usual dip before Christmas exacerbated by Brexit uncertainty.
David Knights of David Brown & Co in Ipswich said: “One of the quietest Decembers for many years, with very few inspections, viewings or sales.”