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UK housing market activity falls in December

Staff Writer |
Britain's housing market "stuttered" in December as price growth slowed and the number of sales fell.

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The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) said its members expected a further slowdown in price rises over the next three months as the formal Brexit process approaches.

The outlook for expected new sales over the next three months was also less optimistic.

"While it remains to be seen if this is a temporary setback, 1% more chartered surveyors saw a fall rather than a rise in sales last month, and figures for predicted sales over the next three months across the UK also saw a noticeable slow down with only 4% more respondents anticipating an increase in sales during the coming three months down from 18% previously," RICS said.

House price growth slowed last month with the headline balance of surveyors reporting a rise falling to 24% from 29% in November, missing analysts' forecasts of 30%.

"Although this suggests prices are still rising firmly, the latest figure does end a run of four successive months of higher house price balances," RICS said.

London was the only area to experience a drop in prices while the North West of England had the strongest price growth.

While price expectations for the next three months in the UK have softened for the second consecutive report, due to slower demand, RICS said respondents were more positive on the year as a whole.

In the next 12 months a net balance of 49% of respondents anticipate prices will increase in the UK, compared to 40% in the previous survey.

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