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UK housing market projected to be lifeless in 2018: RICS

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UK house prices will stagnate next year, according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

[LONDON] UK house prices will stagnate next year, according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

Overall growth will come to a halt as the number of transactions falls slightly, RICS said in a report on Wednesday, with a continued dearth of supply preventing outright declines.

Some regions are set to see gains, offsetting slumps in London and the southeast. Political and economic uncertainty, tax changes, a lack of stock, stretched affordability and the Bank of England's rate hike in November are all influencing factors, according to the report.

"With several forces currently weighing on activity set to persist over the near term, it's difficult to envisage a material step-up in impetus during the next 12 months," said Tarrant Parsons, RICS economist. "Price growth may fade to produce a virtually flat outturn for 2018."

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The report adds to evidence that the property market will continue to have a tough time next year. Real-estate website operator Rightmove said this month that home values in London are likely to fall 2 per cent in 2018, and that they will cool to a gain of 1 per cent nationally.

Changes in fresh demand and supply have "become virtually aligned," the RICS report said, "curbing downward pressure on prices."

Most parts of the UK will see prices edge higher, apart from East Anglia, the northeast and the southeast, RICS said. The strongest gains will likely come from Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and the northwest of England, according to the report.

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