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Housing market outlook worst 'for 20 years'

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The housing market outlook over the next three months is the worst for 20 years, surveyors say.

A net balance of 28% of Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) members expect sales to fall in the next three months.

It's the most downbeat reading since records started in October 1998 and the pessimism is blamed on the lack of clarity around Brexit.

Lack of supply and affordability also continued to affect the market.

Housing market outlook worst 'for 20 years'

Simon Read

Business Reporter

For sale sign
gett

The housing market outlook over the next three months is the worst for 20 years, surveyors say.

A net balance of 28% of Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) members expect sales to fall in the next three months.

It's the most downbeat reading since records started in October 1998 and the pessimism is blamed on the lack of clarity around Brexit.

Lack of supply and affordability also continued to affect the market.

Brexit hangs over housebuilders

house with a a persimmon sign
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More on Persimmon which has said 2018's pre-tax profits will be modestly ahead of market forecasts. Analysts are giving their views on the trading update.

Laith Khalaf, senior analyst, Hargreaves Lansdown, said:" Persimmon is still selling more homes at higher prices, but the rate of growth is slowing".

Brexit "looms large over the housebuilding sector" he said.

"[That's] because a disorderly withdrawal from the EU would impact the UK housing market. That’s particularly the case if the Bank of England felt it had to raise interest rates to defend sterling, which would increase mortgage rates and make buying a property even less affordable, without an adjustment to house prices," he said.

Three million new social homes needed

Houses being built
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Three million new social homes must be built in England over 20 years to solve the "housing crisis", Shelter has said.

The housing charity said upfront costs of £11bn a year could come from housing benefit savings by moving tenants from high-cost privately rented homes to social housing.

Existing schemes such as Help-to-Buy are a less effective use of taxpayers' money, the report claims.

Read more here