Residential property prices in the UK increased at the slowest rate in over four years in July, due to ongoing political uncertainty, record-low stock numbers, and the impact of tax changes, according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).
The latest figures show that the net balance of surveyors predicting price rises fell to just 1% in July, down from 7% in June, marking the softest reading since early 2013, although the data does mask large regional variation.
A lack of homes for sale is holding the market back, according to RICS, with new instructions falling for the 17th month in a row.
“Political and economic upheaval, alongside the ongoing supply versus demand issue, is continuing to plague the property market, damping buyer and investor demand,” said Stephen Wasserman, managing director at West One Loans.
“Despite the figures painting another downcast picture of activity, the housing market is resilient and we’re optimistic that while we may continue to see a few stutters in due course, the overall market will grow in time,” he added.
Just 28% of respondents anticipated a property price rise in the next three months – the lowest reading since July last year, following the Brexit vote.
Simon Rubinsohn, RICS chief economist, commented: “Sales activity in the housing market has been slipping in the recent months and the most worrying aspect of the latest survey is the suggestion that this could continue for some time to come.
“One reason for this is the recent series of tax changes but this is only part of the story. Lack of new build in the wake of the financial crisis is a more fundamental factor weighing on the market.
“The flatter trend in price growth is arguably a silver lining but there is no real indication that the housing market will become materially more affordable anytime soon.”
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