(Bloomberg) -- The U.K. property market is still lumbering under the weight of Brexit.
Most areas of the country saw flat or negative sales last month, while a gauge of expectations for sales in the next three months slumped to the weakest level since February, according to a report by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors on Thursday. New instructions to sell were flat for a third month and RICS’s headline index of prices remained negative.
London and its surrounding regions have borne the brunt of the housing market downturn since the 2016 vote to the European Union. Respondents across the capital, the South East and East Anglia reported an outright decline in prices again in August, but those in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales said values remained firm.
“It is hard to get away from the shadow being cast over the housing market by the seemingly never-ending Brexit saga,” said Simon Rubinsohn, RICS chief economist. “Uncertainty is a theme that respondents continue to highlight as a negative influence on sentiment in survey after survey.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson may be forced to delay Brexit past the current Oct. 31 deadline if he can’t negotiate a new withdrawal agreement with the bloc. That will keep buyers and sellers on edge as they absorb the impact of Brexit on the economy.
Here are comments from some of the real estate agents surveyed:
James Watts, Robert Watts Estate Agents in Northern England
“The market is steady at present and most vendors and buyers are aware of reports suggesting house prices are rising in York & the Humber, however many people are still cautious with the ongoing uncertainty on Brexit.”
Colin Townsend, John Goodwin in Malvern, West Midlands
“Another surprisingly busy month with a large increase in new instructions and continuing strong levels of sales. One of our best August in years.”
William Delaney, Lawrence Ward & Co in London
“The sales market is emerging from the summer holidays into an even more volatile political and economic climate that promotes uncertainty and drains confidence.”
John Frost, The Frost Partnership in Langley, South East England
“The only people wishing to move are for a genuine requirement, the level of people moving has decreased.”
Craig Henderson, Graham & Sibbald in Ayrshire, Scotland
“Ongoing saga of Brexit and the current Westminster mess is no doubt continuing to segregate the market. Increased numbers of would be vendors are concerned about what impact Brexit may have, although those that come to market are selling well!”
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