According to the latest figures, since April, we have witnessed a record low number of individuals looking to purchase a new home – the lowest recorded in the last 8 years. The news was confirmed by surveyors who work in all parts of the United Kingdom.
RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) has revealed that the number of surveyors who said that they have witnessed a reduction in enquiries was 22% higher than those who reported increased enquiries. In addition, surveyors have pointed out that they don’t expect any change during the summer period because of the upcoming EU Referendum in the UK which will take place on June 23rd.
Properties are still getting more expensive in London and the only exception is central London where the prices have actually dropped. House prices (both for new and old homes) are the same in the North. According to some analysts, the newly imposed higher stamp duty may have influenced the number of sales in April too. This is the reason why the figures were a little bit higher in March before the implementation of this change.
RICS leading economist, Simon Rubinsohn, highlighted the fact that uncertainty is one of the main reasons why we are witnessing these unusual changes that only a small number of experts predicted in the beginning of 2016.
According to Rubinsohn, there is a certain amount of pessimism among surveyors who believe that rents and prices will continue to increase in the next months even though it is questionable how affordable they are at the moment.
Experts warn that the housing market is destabilized, especially due to the fact that many sellers are starting to cut their asking prices. This is quite noticeable among sellers with luxurious homes.
It will be interesting to see the state of play with the housing market after the all-important EU referendum later this month.