July 12, 2018 / 7:12 AM / a month ago

UK housing market remains in the doldrums - RICS

LONDON (Reuters) - British house prices remained flat in June and the market was likely to stay sluggish in the coming months despite more properties being put up for sale, a surveyors group said on Thursday.

A couple view properties for sale in an estate agents window in London, Britain August 22, 2016. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls/File Photo

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors’ (RICS) house price balance rose to +2 from -2 in May.

A Reuters poll of economists had pointed to a fall of -3 in June but RICS said the overall picture remained one of flat price growth and respondents taking part in the survey did not anticipate much change in the coming three months.

Britain’s housing market has cooled since the 2016 Brexit vote which led to a rise in overall inflation and increased uncertainty among investors.

“For the second month in a row, new instructions have risen, with 10 percent more respondents seeing an increase in the flow of properties being put up for sale,” RICS said.

“However, with average stocks remaining close to historic lows at 43 it would be too early to suggest that this issue is lessening as an obstacle.”

Looking further ahead, London’s housing market was likely to remain a weak spot - prices were not expected to rise in the capital and the neighbouring south east region, in contrast to much of the rest of the country.

Reporting by William Schomberg, editing by David Milliken

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