House price growth has slipped to its lowest level since the aftermath of the Brexit vote as political uncertainty weighs on the market, a poll of surveyors showed.
It found uncertainty was continuing to stifle activity with the average number of properties on surveyors’ books slipping to a new record low – on figures going back to 1978.
A net balance of 7% of firms questioned across the UK saw a rise rather than fall in prices in June, down from a balance of 17% in May and the lowest reading since July 2016.
Transaction levels fell for the fourth month in a row reflecting “both the lack of stock coming onto the market and a more cautious stance from buyers over recent months”.
The figures from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) showed 44% identified political uncertainty as the biggest factor explaining the state of the market, with 27% pointing to Brexit.
RICS chief economist Simon Rubinsohn said: “Perhaps not surprisingly in the current environment, the term ‘uncertainty’ is featuring more heavily in the feedback we are receiving from professionals working in the sector.
“This seems to be exerting itself on transaction levels which are flatlining and may continue to do so for a while particularly given the ongoing challenge presented by the low level of stock on the market.”
The figures also pointed to big regional differences with Brexit uncertainty and property taxes having a major effect on expensive properties in London while there were also slight price drops in south east England, and the rest of the UK saw increases.
It is the latest report to point to a stuttering housing market overall.
Lender Halifax last week reported a 1% month-on-month fall in house prices in June – the third fall in a row – pointing to the squeeze on households as prices grow faster than wages.
However contrasting data for the month from Nationwide showed a bounce-back in the market with 1.1% growth.