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House prices in London forecast to keep falling

London

THE Brexit gloom hanging over the UK property market showed no signs of letting up in March, with real-estate agents expecting house prices in London and south-east England to continue falling for another year.

Britain's tortured departure from the European Union (EU) was widely cited in the latest survey from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), which painted a picture of anxious buyers, reluctant sellers and agents struggling to negotiate agreements.

Demand and supply declined, the report published on Thursday found, and an index of prices remained deep in negative territory - pointing to "modest" losses over the next two quarters.

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A subsequent recovery in values is expected to elude London and the southeast, where the market is in its worst slump since the financial crisis.

"Brexit remains a major drag on activity in the market, with anecdotal evidence pointing to potential buyers being reluctant to commit in the face of the heightened sense of uncertainty," said Simon Rubinsohn, chief economist at RICS.

"Whether any deal provides the shift in mood music envisaged by many respondents to the survey remains to be seen, but as things stand there is little encouragement to be drawn from key RICS lead indicators." BLOOMBERG