Brexit uncertainty has mixed affect on Wolverhampton housing market

A report this morning from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) highlights just how much of an influence Carney’s remarks have had on consumers who were actively considering moving home last month, and on overall market expectations in the wake of further economic and political uncertainty. Unlike other house price indices, which generally rely on empirical data, the RICS monthly report is sentiment based, meaning that its member surveyors from across the country provide their views on a series of questions relating to what they have observed over the previous month in their area.

Given that surveyors are a vital part of the property ecosystem – after all, if a property is purchased with any sort of mortgage, a surveyor’s valuation is required by the lender – RICS members are uniquely placed to provide insight into how the housing market is fairing from region to region.

At a headline level, RICS suggests that new buyers are holding back on their purchases, due to Brexit uncertainties, leading to their indication that the number of properties sold over the next twelve months is likely to dip from the volume of transactions we’ve seen this year. However, fewer vendors listing their properties for sale in some regions has counter-balanced any drop off in buyer activity, meaning that prices in Wolverhampton remained flat last month, although there is significant variation across the UK, as has been the case for much of this year.

But despite the report’s rather negative overtones, it’s perhaps not all doom and gloom. “There is a continued disparity across the UK which has been at play for most of 2018, where consumer confidence in bricks and mortar would appear to still be prevalent in many areas including the Midlands and of course Wolverhampton. “Whilst Mr Carney’s remarks last month were perhaps somewhat taken out of context – he was of course, asked to provide his views on a range of potential scenarios, not just ‘worst”case.

“However, other regions, such as Northern Ireland and Wales, have seen a buoyant market continue in September in terms of volumes, with values increasing, albeit modestly of course, in the West Midlands and Scotland.  “Indeed, today’s report also suggests surveyor expectations are that, despite last month’s headlines, prices in most parts of the country will either remain at current levels or edge up slightly over the next year.”

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