House prices in the UK fell in November, hitting their lowest level since April amid uncertainty about Brexit and the looming general election, according to the latest survey from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.
The monthly house price balance declined to -12 in November, its lowest since April, from -5 in October, as the number of new home-buyers and sellers continued to fall.
Analysts had expected the price balance to remain unchanged.
RICS chief economist Simon Rubinsohn said: "Confidence is critical to a well-functioning housing market and whatever happens in the general election today, it is important that the new government provides reassurance both over the stewardship of the economy and the ongoing challenges around Brexit.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson plans to take the UK out of the European Union by January 31 if he wins a majority in today’s election, while most opposition parties have said they want a second referendum in 2020.
FTSE 250 stocks, particularly property and construction shares, have been hit by Brexit uncertainty as investors turned away from smaller business reliant on the UK economy and businesses put construction plans on hold.
A clear Tory win would remove that uncertainty and boost spending on infrastructure, analysts have predicted.
Irrespective of the poll results, RICS said it expected change after the elections, with sales expectations over the next three months looking more stable with a net balance of +11 per cent, as well as the twelve-month outlook marked by positive sentiment.
Jeremy Leaf a, north London estate agent and a former RICS residential chairman, said that the report confirmed what he is seeing on the ground “'new buyer enquiries and listings lower than last month but not falling as quickly as previously, despite significant political and seasonal distractions”.
'What we have also noticed, which is unlikely to be picked up by national surveys for a while, is the quiet determination of increasing numbers of realistic buyers and sellers to take advantage of improved affordability and a little more confidence in market prospects for 2020,” he said.