RICS market survey shows that positivity has leaked out of the housing market

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The August 2019 RICS Residential Market Survey results point to a renewed deterioration in sales expectations over the near term, with survey respondents predicting a further decline in activity over the three months to come. Brexit uncertainty is unsurprisingly a significant factor causing the hesitation for both buyers and sellers.

The survey found that in addition to broadly flat or dipping sales expectations, the demand for lettings continues to rise against a backdrop of falling supply which in turn is leading to higher rents.

Simon Rubinsohn, RICS Chief Economist, said: “It is hard to get away from the shadow being cast over the housing market by the seemingly never-ending Brexit saga. Indeed, uncertainty is a theme that respondents continue to highlight as a negative influence on sentiment in survey after survey. That said, the key RICS activity indicators have actually remained relatively resilient until now pointing to only a modest dip in transactions across the country rather than anything more severe.

More ominously, the August RICS results again draw attention to the challenge in the lettings market, with feedback continuing to indicate that demand is outstripping supply. As a result, the pressure is for rents to continue moving higher and indeed outstripping any price gains both in the near and medium term.”