UK housing market dips for first time in 12 months

Interest from UK house buyers has dropped for the first time since March 2015, as uncertainty continues to affect the market, according to the latest RICS UK Residential Market Survey. 

Following the buy-to-let rush that preceded the 1 April tax rise deadline, and with continued uncertainty caused by the EU Referendum, interest from buyers dropped in April with 22% more chartered surveyors reporting a drop in demand. 

The fall in demand is evident across the whole of the UK as buyers continue to show more caution in the face of the impending EU Referendum.

As the market continues to be hampered by uncertainty, sales are forecast to remain flat over the coming three months with the outlook in London significantly worse than other parts of the UK.

Despite the drop in demand from buyers prices have continued to rise, although at a more moderate pace across the UK in April, apart from central London which saw a modest decline and the North which saw prices remain flat.

Simon Rubinsohn, RICS Chief Economist said:

“Uncertainty is a word that features heavily in the feedback we are receiving from members responding to the survey and is contributing to the flatter trend in the latest data. More ominous is the expectation that both prices and rents will head materially higher over medium term despite existing affordability concerns with the supply pipeline continuing to fall short of household growth notwithstanding the various levers the government is pulling to try and drive development.”