Thursday 8 August 2019 8:28 am

Rics: UK house prices ‘flatlining’ over no-deal Brexit concerns

UK house prices are “flatlining” in a weak housing market, according to an influential group of chartered surveyors.

A headline price indicator slipped deeper into negative territory in July, according to the latest survey by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (Rics).

Read more: UK house prices 'tread water' as they slip for another month

UK house prices' metric fell to minus nine last month on Rics' measure, down from minus one in June.


It comes after Halifax data out yesterday showed UK house prices fell for a second month running in July.

Rics blamed rising Brexit uncertainty for the drop, with new Prime Minister Boris Johnson having promised to leave the EU in a “do or die” Brexit come 31 October.

That could open the door to a no-deal Brexit, with the UK and EU so far refusing to budge from their negotiating positions.

“The latest Rics results will provide little comfort for the market with all the key indicators pretty much flatlining,” Simon Rubinsohn, Rics chief economist, said.

“Indeed, the forward-looking metrics on prices and sales also seem to losing momentum as concerns, clearly voiced in the anecdotal feedback, both about Brexit and political uncertainty heighten.”

Rubinsohn said a Bank of England interest rate cut could boost buyer demand by making mortgages more affordable.

“But this may be insufficient to provide a spur to lift activity given the clouds hanging over the economy,” he warned.


July did demonstrate an improving number of potential buyer enquiries for the second month in a row, but sales numbers dropped again.

Meanwhile more than two thirds of homes priced at over £1m failed to sell at their asking prices. Homes priced at under £500,000 mostly hit their advertised price.

Yesterday Halifax warned that UK house prices were treading water in July amid a slump in demand.

Read more: UK house prices are stuck in Brexit 'limbo'

It warned that economic uncertainty was weighing down demand.

Johnson is reportedly set to pledge major cuts to stamp duty in a bid to boost demand for the UK housing market ahead of a possible no-deal Brexit.

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