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Brexit chaos damaging property market

Patrick Christys
Mar 14, 2019

The chaos around Brexit and our politicians' inability to get a deal over the line is seriously damaging the UK housing market.

New research shows that almost 80% of estate agents surveyed by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors said Brexit uncertainty represented the biggest headache for the housing market.

And more than 70% said the dire political situation is hindering both would-be buyers and sellers.

That said, 8% don't think Brexit has had an impact.

A spokesperson for The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors said: 'Following Theresa May’s latest Brexit deal defeat, regardless of whether the UK now leaves the EU with or without a deal, the impact of further uncertainty is expected to be felt across all tenures of the housing market.' 

The number of homes coming up for sale slumped to a record low last month. 

Estate agents, on average, only have around 42 properties listed at their branches, which is the lowest since 1994. 

And February marked the eighth consecutive month of a fall in the number of homes coming up for sale. 

It now takes around 19-and-a-half weeks to sell a property, which is the joint longest time for a couple of years.

Simon Rubinsohn, chief economist at The Rics, said: 'Although activity in the housing market continues to be weighted down by the lack of available stock, changes in the tax regime affecting property, and affordability; feedback to the latest RICS survey makes it pretty clear that the ongoing uncertainty around how Brexit will play out is the critical factor influencing both buyers and sellers. 

'And with little sign that the issue will be resolved anytime soon, it could prove to be a challenging spring for the housing market and the wider economy.

'It is clear from professionals working in the market that this environment requires a greater degree of realism from those looking to move. 

'A reluctance from some vendors to acknowledge the shift in the balance of power in the market will compound the difficulty in executing transactions.'

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