(Bloomberg) -- The U.K. housing market steadied in May as the delay to the nation’s Brexit process helped arrest a decline in new-buyer interest.
The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors’s index of price growth improved to minus 10 last month, from minus 22 previously, the firm said Thursday. Still, indicators of sales and new instructions remain negative, while near-term expectations are also for more declines.
Brexit has been weighing on the U.K. housing market for the past three years after decades of rapid price gains. The nation’s exit from the European Union, originally scheduled for March 29, has now been pushed back to October, and the survey is the latest to suggest that the delay has given the market temporary respite from the gloom.
Downward pressure in London, which had been particularly acute, eased last month, RICS said, although the capital’s price indicator remains negative. Still, projections for price growth in London are flat over the next 12 months, a contrast to every other region, where gains are expected.
Here’s a roundup of comments made by agents in the RICS survey:
Colin Bernhardt -- Bernhardt associates in southeast England:
“The market uncertainty due to the Brexit fiasco is calming down but until Brexit is resolved one way or another the housing market will suffer.”
Ben Hudson -- Hudson Moody in Yorkshire and Humberside:
“A realization that Brexit will rumble on for ever has meant buyers and sellers are starting to make decisions to move.”
Christopher Ames -- Ames Belgravia in London:
“Enquiries are picking up. The U.S. Presidential visit seems to have reminded the world that the U.K. has strong ties with the USA as well as Europe. Dollar-backed purchasers still on the increase.”
Tom Dogger -- B N Investment Ltd in London:
“The spiraling chaos of trying to predict the final outcome of Brexit is certainly making purchasers defer their plans to buy. However, there is an increase in investors attracted by significant discounts.”
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