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BREXIT uncertainty is taking its toll on Scotland’s subdued housing market, a new survey has shown.

The UK Residential Market Survey March 2019, from the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), warns that the slump in the UK housing market looks set to continue amid ongoing Brexit uncertainty.

The RICS said the market was still subdued in March, adding that it was “a picture that has been evident in the sales market for several months now, with the lack of momentum likely to continue for the short term”.

Scottish sales remain flat and sales expectations for Scotland are also negative, with more chartered surveyors expecting a decline in sales over the next three months, though sales are anticipated to rise over the coming 12 months as a whole.

That being said, Scotland and Northern Ireland are the only parts of the UK to have seen sustained price growth on a consistent basis over the past two months.

The ongoing decline in new property coming on to the Scottish market continues. Demand from potential buyers has consistently outpaced new instructions across Scotland for several years now. Consequently prices remained firm in March, with 20% of respondents reporting a rise in house prices across Scotland.

Craig Henderson, of Graham & Sibbald in Ayrshire , told the survey: “Brexit, Brexit and Brexit, the biggest factor in the property market right now and the continued uncertainty. Stock levels are low as vendors are worried about what impact Brexit will have. This means demand is outstripping supply.”

Thomas Baird, of Select Surveyors in Glasgow, added: “Brexit extensions not brilliant for the overall market and the lack of confidence.”

Simon Rubinsohn, RICS chief economist, said: “Brexit remains a major drag on activity in the market with anecdotal evidence pointing to potential buyers being reluctant to commit in the face of the heightened sense of uncertainty.

“Whether any deal provides the shift in mood music envisaged by many respondents to the survey remains to be seen but as things stand, there is little encouragement to be drawn from key RICS lead indicators. We expect transactions to decline on this basis.

“Arguably more significant still are the signs that developers are continuing to adopt a more cautious stance.”

By Martin Hannan

Source: The National

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