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Endless wrangling over Brexit depresses UK housing market

London

BREXIT hung over the UK property market in September, sapping both sellers and buyers alike.

An index of homes put up for sale fell to the lowest since June 2016, the month of the referendum, while measures of newly agreed sales and buyer inquires also slid, according to a report by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) published on Thursday. RICS' headline index of prices remained negative.

"There are good reasons for thinking the latest dip in both buyer enquiries and vendor instructions is a response to the endless wrangling about Brexit, as the Oct 31 deadline approaches," said the institute's chief economist Simon Rubinsohn.

The overall picture was depressed by London and the southeast, which have borne the brunt of the increased uncertainty, RICS said.

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While most respondents expect prices to continue to fall over the next three months, they were more optimistic on a 12-month basis.

Commenting on the report, Richard Taylor, a real estate agent from London's Surveyors & Valuers, said: "Brexit once again dominates the conversation, although investors are now as (or more) concerned about the effects a Labour administration will have on the property market." BLOOMBERG

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