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Shortage of Welsh Properties for Sale as Brexit Impasse Puts off Vendors

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The current Brexit deadlock continues to have repercussions for the Welsh housing market, affecting surveyor, buyer and vendor confidence according to the latest RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) Residential Market Survey.

While the latest survey results do indicate that an increase in prices has been experienced in the last three months in Wales, the other survey indicators are all either flat or in negative territory.

New instructions to sell and newly agreed sales both fell back sharply last month, according to respondents, and surveyors expect prices and sales to be broadly flat over the next three months.

Comments from surveyors reflected a perceived hesitancy amongst potential purchasers and sellers, due to the political impasse.

The hesitancy of sellers can be seen in the new instructions to sell balance, which is at its lowest level in the survey’s 20-year history.

Surveyors are more optimistic about the market in the longer-term, with a net balance of +54% of respondents in Wales expecting an increase in prices in the coming year (compared to +37% in February). Expectations for sales activity over the next 12 months are flat.

RICS Residential Spokesperson for Wales, and Director of Kelvin Francis, Cardiff, Tony Filice FRICS, said:

“The number of viewings has remained relatively steady; however we are witnessing lower numbers of offers being submitted on properties, reflecting the nervousness in the housing market at the present time. We are also experiencing reduced numbers of property listings, particularly for this time of year, which is leading to a real shortage of supply.”

The main findings of the latest survey for Wales were as follows (all figures indicate the net balance of respondents):

  • The headline price balance was +14% in the latest survey, indicating house prices edged upwards.
  • However, the price expectations balance for the next three months remains broadly flat, at 0.
  • The sales expectations balance remains in negative territory, at -5%.
  • New buyer enquiries dropped in March, according to the balance of respondents (-8%)
  • The balance for newly agreed sales was -20%.
  • The number of new properties emerging on the market continues to fall, with the net balance for new instructions falling to -62% – the lowest rate in the UK and the lowest in the survey’s 20-year history.
  • A net balance of +54% of survey respondents expect house prices to rise in the next 12 months, but with a flat expectation for sales in the coming year.

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