Brexit impacts Yorkshire's property market

Thursday, 13th December 2018, 4:31 pm
Updated Thursday, 13th December 2018, 4:45 pm

Uncertainty caused by Brexit is causing buyers and sellers across Yorkshire to sit tight in increasing numbers, according to the November 2018 RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) UK Residential Market Survey.

Results from the monthly survey show a weaker trend in sales than previous months, with agents reporting a fall in demand and supply during the month of November as political uncertainty caused by Brexit continues to impact the housing market.

Only three per cent of agents reported a rise in the number of buyer enquiries last month, with Brexit and the limited choice of properties for sale in the region seen as main reasons causing potential buyers to delay their house hunt.

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The number of new properties for sale in the region fell for the fifth consecutive report too.

Agents now have, on average, 32 homes for sale. The number of new appraisals by property valuers is also down in comparison to a year earlier. It’s no surprise then that, the number of agreed sales in Yorkshire and Humber fell in November and 40 per cent of agents do not expect sales to rise over the coming three months.

The time taken to complete a sale from initial listing is now around 20 weeks.

Looking at house prices, 16 per cent of agents in Yorkshire reported a rise in prices last month (down from 19 per cent in October), but looking ahead, contributors don’t expect to see prices increase over the coming three months.

Simon Rubinsohn, RICS Chief Economist said: “It is evident from the feedback to the latest RICS survey that the ongoing uncertainties surrounding how the Brexit process plays out is taking its toll on the housing market. Indeed, I can’t recall a previous survey when a single issue has been highlighted by quite so many contributors.

"Caution is visible among both buyers and vendors and where deals are being done, they are taking longer to get over the line. Significantly the forward-looking indicators reflect the suspicion that the political machinations are unlikely to be resolved anytime soon. The bigger risk is that this now spills over into development plans making it even harder to secure the uplift in the building pipeline to address the housing crisis.”

Hew Edgar, RICS interim head of policy (pictured) said: ““RICS shares the resounding sentiment of frustration from our professionals operating in the UK’s residential sector; and we are not surprised by this month’s outcome. Brexit was always going to be a very politically charged debate, but the current style of politics, and the high level of political uncertainty, is significantly impacting the housing market and built environment to the detriment of the public.

“Prior to the referendum, our research indicated that Brexit would only impact the higher end of the residential market, as the lower and middle market areas are domestically driven. Now, however, it appears that those looking to buy and sell homes across the price spectrum, as well as those looking to invest in the UK’s residential sector, are putting off decisions until there is more certainty.

“Parliamentarians need to work together to make sure politics, the future deal and our relationship with the EU works for the build environment.”