Brexit, general election and ‘misguided’ rental reforms hitting entire housing market

Brexit and the general election are hitting the housing market everywhere that it hurts, the RICS reports this morning.

The RICS also bluntly called on the next government to stop tinkering with the private rented sector through “misguided” reforms.

According to RICS estate agency members, new buyer enquiries, sales and new instructions are all down for yet another month. Market appraisals have also dropped again.

Prices are flat, and on the lettings side, tenant demand continues to rise as more landlords get out of the sector.

The RICS report said that enquiries from new applicants fell for the second month running in October right across the UK.

Sales also dipped everywhere, other than in Northern Ireland where agents noted a marginal increase.

New instructions were down for the fourth consecutive month across the whole of the UK.

In addition, agents reported a decline in the number of market appraisals.

On the lettings side, agents reported a drop in new instructions from landlords, and said that the pace of decline is gathering momentum.

RICS agents expect to see more rent rises.

Simon Rubinsohn, RICS chief economist, said: “Both buyer and seller activity remains in a holding pattern, hampered by political and economic uncertainty.

“Given the upcoming general election next month, it appears unlikely that these trends will pick up to any meaningful extent over the remainder of this year.

“The picture remains very different on the lettings side, however, with tenant demand gathering momentum over recent months. This is running against an increasingly tight supply backdrop for rental properties and seems set to squeeze the pace of rental growth higher going forward.”

Tamara Hooper, policy manager at RICS, said: “Persistent government meddling in the private rented sector has dampened landlords’ appetites to invest and expand their portfolios, with many consolidating their assets, or leaving the sector altogether.

“In addition, the regulatory changes have decreased stability and standards for tenants.

“The Government needs to stop tinkering  – through misguided eviction processes, taxation and fees – and help provide a careful balance between landlords’ and tenants’ rights.

“This will encourage more landlords back to the market as well as ensure that tenants, including those who are most vulnerable, are not at a disadvantage in being able to find a suitable and affordable home to rent.”

Comments by agents who contributed to today’s RICS survey are revealing.

Andrew Taylorson, of Eckersley, in the north-west, said: “The farce associated with Brexit and political uncertainty and selfish behaviour compounds uncertainty in the market place. This makes both sellers and buyers nervous.”

In Norfolk, Nigel Steele of Jackson-Stops said: “Everything is now on hold.”

The survey had 3,345 responses covering 610 branches.

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  1. Will2

    What are the signs of a desperate politician?  Offer utopia plus billions of pounds of spending of OUR taxes. Offer prs tenants security of tenure, rent control, right to buy at mega discounts etc. More money to everyone on benefits extra child benefit extra maternity leave. Reduce working week to 3 days and promise same standard of living or better; the list goes on.  Then cry when it all goes wrong. Whoops it looks a manifesto.

  2. J1

    It’s all come to a head at a time of year that is normally quiet.

    B and the GE just allow people to put things off even more…..

    1. Tornado

      A good point but having said that is it possible that the next government will actually take the opportunity to bring life back to the property industry. I only hear Boris really making statements here but we will all have to wait and see.

  3. kittygirl06

    Yes they are destroying the PRS ,  was this there hidden agenda.

    1. Eyereaderturnedposter12

      Yes Kittygirl06…As time marches on, the agenda has become less hidden.

      Institutional investors, financiers, banks and large scale builders (many of whom are party donors…donating to both primary contenders) are fully aware of the ‘goldmine’ that corporatizing the PRS will present them…and they all want a piece of the pie. At a time where the proportion of the British public are ‘renters’ has never been higher…there is much rubbing together of hands in certain circles.

      The classic strategy of ”divide and conquer” is being skilfully implemented…and the renting public have been suckered in ‘hook, line and sinker’…

      Divide- Demonise those providing for, hosting, supplying and facilitating the PRS; utilising propaganda/horror stories via the media and disseminated by multiple ‘experts’/charities/’regulatory bodies’/Government Dpts etc.

      Conquer- Make property ownership for investment purposes so undesirably unviable that it becomes a nonsensical pursuit. Create shortages within the market place, and offer ‘friends’ of those in control wonderful concessions to build for rental purposes. Fewer Landlords, easier social control and ultimately yet more redistribution of wealth from a larger number of individuals, into a smaller number of elite/institutional/government backed/linked organisations.

      Then via the back door, reverse the punitive measures imposed on Landlords (at this point, there will be fewer, and far larger Landlords) and make it far easier for ‘corporate’ Landlords to operate within the sector.

      Result-  More social control, less financial freedom and a license to print money as the lessening of financial freedom perpetuates a situation where there are more renters, as each day goes by…

      Genius really…sadly a pretty nefarious kind of genius!

  4. HIT MAN

    Now is the best time to drop Rightmove and stop them from hurting our industry even more, our enquiries, new listing and valuation requests have dropped only 2 sales valuations this month 1 through OTM and 1 from Zoopla, nothing from Rightmove.

    Tenant enquiries have dropped with most enquiries via Facebook 2nd OTM, 3rd Zoopla, 4th Rightmove.

    Forget Brexit and think RMEXIT..

    1. Yorkshire Agent

      You are not the only one thinking RMEXIT.  This could be the time now to see OnTheMarket as our White Knight – Saviour.


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