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Brexit gloom to hit housing market into 2019, says RICS

Mortgage Lending Needs

Uncertainty and gloom about Brexit are likely to hit the UK housing market well into next year, surveyors believe.

The latest report from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) predicts that the number of homes being sold - and their prices - will fall over the next three months.

Fewer people are interested in moving, and fewer want to sell. Each home is already taking an average of four months to sell, the longest period since records began in 2016.

Reacting to the report, experts at Capital Economics said they expected the number of house sales to continue falling next year. However they estimate that prices will still rise by 1% in 2019.

House building

RICS is also concerned that the rate of house-building itself could slow down, because of Brexit worries. The RICS survey - carried out in November - suggests that most surveyors are considerably more pessimistic about the market than they were just a month before.

The Bank of England's governor, Mark Carney, said last month that house prices could fall by as much as 30% in the event of a "disorderly" Brexit - in other words a no-deal scenario.

However there is some regional variation, with surveyors in the north of England and Northern Ireland less pessimistic. Surveyors in these two areas were the only ones who said they expected prices to rise over the next three months.

It seems like a very difficult period is ahead. However lenders still need to lend and will have mortgage lending targets to achieve, maybe it’s a buyers’ market and a good time to borrow so get in touch if you need a mortgage.

Adapted from https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-46538831 13th December 2018