Yesterday, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors reported that the threat of Brexit has significantly affected the UK housing market, with prices falling at the fastest rate in six years. In addition, the outlook for sales is said to be at the weakest it has been for two decades. Sales expectations for the next three months came in at the lowest they have been since the survey started in 1999.
In a sign of the Brexit uncertainty that has blighted the UK for almost two years, sales expectations from January to March – when the UK is set to leave the EU – are either flat or negative in every single region of the UK. House prices fell for the third month in a row in November 2018 and many estate agents have reported the quietest December for many years.
This morning we will see retail sales for December, which are expected to drop to -0.8% from 1.4% the previous month. On an annual basis, they are forecast to have grown by 3.6% from the same month the year before.