Following a couple of months in which new buyer enquiries increased modestly, August saw a flatter trend in demand at the national level and respondents anticipate continued decline in activity over the next three months.
Brexit uncertainty is again highlighted as a significant factor causing hesitation among buyers and vendors, but RICS does expect a more stable trend in sales across a 12-month horizon.
This is a view that has been reflected by Roger Bootle, chairman of Capital Economics, who recently told Sky News that there is great capacity to bounce back beyond any immediate disruption.
During an interview, he said: “I acknowledge that there will be some disruption immediately after a no deal Brexit. I think there’s bound to be some uncertainties and few more delays. But I think it’s going to be nothing like the scale that the bears have said and, what’s more, I think there’s great capacity to bounce back after this.
“It’s quite clear that Brexit uncertainty has been very debilitating for business and although there will be some downsides to leaving without a deal, it does actually relieve us of the uncertainty. Once we know we’re out and the terms on which we are out I think before many months have elapsed, we’ll see confidence return with a bang.”
Roger Bootle has an impressive record of forecasting major market, economic and monetary events including the real estate bubble, the impact of the credit crunch, the collapse of the ‘dotcom’ boom, the UK’s removal from the exchange rate mechanism, and the period of sustained low inflation in Europe and the US.
So, his confident outlook will come as some reassurance.
As an expert in the European Union from his long career in the field of politics and economics, Bootle is also well-placed to have an opinion on the future of Britain from a post-Brexit standpoint.
And he will be discussing his thoughts at this year’s Association of Short Term Lender’s Annual Conference.