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Brexit Uncertainty Weighs On UK Housing Market: RICS

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UK housing market activity remained subdued as economic and political uncertainty ahead of Brexit weighed on sentiment among buyers and vendors, survey results from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, or RICS, showed Thursday.

The headline house price balance came in at -2 percent in September compared to -4 percent in August.

The indicators on buyer demand and supply slipped into negative territory in September. Moreover, the average stock levels on estate agents' books remained near record lows.

RICS said Brexit impasse seems to be dissuading vendors. The new instructions net balance fell to -37 percent, the weakest reading since June 2016.

Also buyers took a more cautious approach. After holding more or less steady over the last four months, the new buyer enquiries net balance dropped to -15 percent, suggesting a moderate decline in buyer demand.

Further, the RICS Newly Agreed Sales series edged down to -27 percent from -11 percent.

Looking ahead, the survey revealed that the housing market is unlikely to gain impetus over the next three months, but confidence over the twelve-month horizon was a little more resilient.

House price expectations for the coming three months was at -16 percent. The score indicates a moderate decrease in prices on a UK-wide basis.

Nonetheless, prices are expected to rise at the national level over the coming twelve months. A net balance of 18 percent forecasts prices to rise rather than fall over the coming year.

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