‘Unusual’ housing market

PUBLISHED: 10:00 20 June 2016 | UPDATED: 10:48 20 June 2016

3d illustration of  Blueprints

3d illustration of Blueprints

Archant

Experts have warned there could be a short-term house price crash in the near future due to uncertainty about the EU referendum.

Findings from a housing survey have shown that while house prices in the South West are still rising each month, prices are going up at a slower rate.

The graphic below shows a net balance in opinions – in other words, how many more surveyors think something is rising as opposed to falling.

It shows how 326 surveyors in the South West think the housing market is going.

In January, 40 per cent more respondents said they had seen an increase in potential house buyers.

Graphic explaining the survey results.Graphic explaining the survey results.

But by May a 43 per cent majority said they had seen a fall in interest.

More surveyors are still seeing house prices rise, but their majority has fallen by 32 per cent as more begin to notice a decline in value.

The figures, from the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), did not come as a surprise to one Weston estate agent, who says the current market is ‘unusual’.

Andrew Smith, director of Stephen and Co in Waterloo Street, told the Mercury the three per cent stamp duty increase, which was introduced in April in the annual Government budget, has had a knock-on effect.

He said: “These figures mirror exactly what we have seen here.

“We saw a big increase in enquiries in the first quarter of the year. This was due to the stamp duty increase which was coming in April. It was better for investors to buy then.

“There is also the issue about the EU referendum. Obviously the outcome will affect house prices in some way – we just don’t know how.

“When you buy a house, there is always something to be scared of and this is the same thing.

“We will see that there are still buyers around. It is just an unusual market at the moment.”

However, Mayfair Properties in the Boulevard had a different view on the situation.

Adam McLachlan, senior negotiator at Mayfair, said: “We have experienced quite the opposite. We have been busier than we have ever been.

“Last month is down on last year but that is it and everyone is blaming the EU referendum.

“What I will say is that prices seem to be all over the place at the moment.”

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