New RICS transaction data backs up 'referendum slowdown' theory

New RICS transaction data backs up 'referendum slowdown' theory

New figures from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors backs up the theory that the market is slowing down significantly ahead of the EU referendum on June 23.

RICS says it expected a slowdown after the buying frenzy to beat the April 1 stamp duty surcharge deadline, but the institution's data shows the sharpest fall in enquiries from potential homebuyers since the onset of the global financial crisis in August 2008. 

The sharpest fall came in London - the most popular region for foreign investors, who are widely considered to be the buying group most wary of a Brexit. 

Even so, house prices continue to rise in much of the country; RICS says it expects a dip in price rises over the next three months, but then a more normal market to resume from mid-summer onwards.

The institution forecasts prices to rise between 3.0 and 5.5 per cent annually over each of the next five years across the UK; average rents are predicted to rise 4.6 per cent a year.

"While reduced demand from buy to let and second home buyers appears to have been the main cause of this fall, it may also reflect some uncertainty beginning to enter the market in the run-up to the UK's referendum on its EU membership" says RICS. 

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