Brexit uncertainty ‘damaging Scottish housing market’

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has warned that the prolonged uncertainty surrounding Brexit will likely further damage the Scottish housing market.

Results from the latest RICS UK Residential Market Survey, which came as Theresa May’s Brexit deal was thrown out of Parliament this week for a second time, survey show a continued decline in activity across the UK housing market, with new buyer enquiries, agreed sales and instructions all falling.

Brexit uncertainty ‘damaging Scottish housing market’

In Scotland, 47% of chartered surveyors in the housing industry said that Brexit uncertainty is holding back activity in the market, with buyers and sellers sitting tight and likely resulting in further decline.

During February, buyer demand in Scotland remained flat for the third consecutive month.

The survey shows that the number of houses available to buy or rent is also causing concern,  with nine consecutive months of respondents reporting a fall in the number of properties coming on to the market.

Simon Rubinsohn, RICS chief economist, said: “Although activity in the housing market continues to be weighed down by the lack of available stock, changes in the tax regime affecting property and affordability, feedback to the latest RICS survey makes it pretty clear that the ongoing uncertainty around how Brexit will play out is the critical factor influencing both buyers and sellers.

“And with little sign that the issue will be resolved anytime soon, it could prove to be a challenging spring for the housing market and the wider economy.”

Hew Edgar, RICS interim head of policy, added: “It is clear from recent survey results that the wearisome state of British politics that has arisen from Brexit – particularly in the last six months – continues to take its toll on UK housing.”

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