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Housing market takes a dip amid concerns over Brexit

The demand for homes to buy has hit an eight-year low amid concerns over the uncertainty caused by Brexit, according to new figures released by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

In its market survey, RICS found that new buyer enquiries declined significantly across the UK in June, with 36% more chartered surveyors reporting a fall in interest rather than a rise -this is the lowest reading since mid-2008. 

There was a further fall in the supply of properties becoming available for sale, with the exception of Northern Ireland.

The market also saw a decline in sales in June with a third successive monthly drop in activity.

Surveyors expect this trend to continue with 26% more respondents anticipating a further drop in sales across the UK over the next three months.  This is the most negative reading for near term expectations since 1998. 

House price growth also saw a reduction in June and although prices are still rising, they are doing so at a more moderate pace.  A total of 16% more respondents reported seeing prices rise rather than fall across the UK.

Looking further ahead over the next 12 months, sales expectations have turned negative for the first time in four years with 12% more contributors expecting transactions to fall rather than rise.

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.

“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."

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