38% of surveyors predict house prices to fall in next 3 months

38% of surveyors predict house prices to fall in next 3 months

Surveyors' confidence in the housing market has plummeted amidst changes to stamp duty and Brexit concerns, research suggests.

A March survey from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) revealed that 38% of respondents expected to see house prices fall over the next three months.

Andy Sommerville, Director of Search Acumen, said: “RICS members’ suspicions that activity would slow down as a result of the new buy-to-let stamp duty surcharge seem to have already been confirmed by the easing of demand in March, with new instructions stalling and short-term sales expectations dipping.

“The impending lull in activity in April should come as no surprise to conveyancers, many of whom have been preparing for this dip in activity for some time now.”

Confidence in house price inflation also decreased, with only 17% expecting inflation to rise, down from 44% in December.

Many respondents cited changes to the stamp duty tax as a leading cause for concern.

Introduced in April 2016, the new SDLT surcharge requires landlords to pay an extra 3% when buying an additional home.

Other concerns included a weaker pound, Brexit and devolved elections.

However, Andy said: “The bigger picture suggests this will only be temporary – buy to let property remains a very attractive investment, and the cost of the extra stamp duty is far outweighed by rental yields and long-term capital growth.

“The demand for homes continues to significantly exceed supply, and there is no sign of that changing any time soon.”

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