Political uncertainty quashing house growth, surveyors say


House price growth was almost flat in July due to political uncertainty, lack of housing stock and tax changes, according to a sentiment survey of surveyors.

The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors says that the ‘net prices balance’ fell to 1 per cent in July, from 7 per cent in June.

This is worked out by deducting the proportion of surveyors who saw a decline in house prices from those who saw a rise.

RICS says this is the lowest level of the net prices balance since Q1 2013.

However, the picture varied by region.

While surveyors reported that house prices fell in areas including London, they rose in Northern Ireland, the West Midlands and the South West.

The trade association’s members expect to see house prices remain flat for at least the next few months.

But over the next 12 months, 28 per cent of RICS members expect to see prices rise.

E.surv director Richard Sexton says: “Through a lack of growth in new buyer enquiries and new instructions, buyers and sellers are evidently taking a cautious approach during times of economic uncertainty.

“Despite this, today’s results should not be viewed as a sign of troubled waters. The whole market has been steadily growing and we have seen increases in mortgage approvals year-on-year, driven by remortgage activity, particularly in the North.

“However, the fundamental issue which remains and prevents a significant advancement in our housing market is a chronic lack of supply.”