Andy Sommerville, director of Search Acumen, comments on the RICS residential market survey, April 2016:
“Whether or not a Brexit will unfold remains to be seen, but the uncertainty is definitely creating an environment of caution in the property sector, as seen in the drop in interest from buyers for the first time in over a year (March 2015).
“Sellers are also lowering their asking prices in the short term as Brexit draws closer, which could offer some buyers temporary relief.
“There is no clear evidence of the market’s direction following the vote. The Chancellor, in a bid to support Brexit has suggested that property prices could plummet if ‘leave’ gets the majority vote.
“Foreign investors may pull out, and London in particular could be worse off. However, others speculate that shrewd investors confident of a ‘stay’ vote could be preparing to snap up property closer to the vote as prices dip slightly.
“Either way, it’s disappointing that rent is continuing to rise, soaking up the money that young people could use to buy their first home. The first home, in turn, continues to become even more unaffordable, despite markets stalling due to uncertainty.
“There has been a rise in planning approvals, but as housebuilders’ shares stall, we wonder if housebuilding will as well.