Property instructions sink to a three-year low – and more falls expected

More estate agents are reporting a drop in property instructions.

Today’s RICS Residential Market Survey found that 35% more surveyors reported a fall rather than a rise in instructions during April, the poorest reading since June 2016.

RICS agents also reported that new buyer enquiries and agreed sales were down – and they are not hopeful about the coming months.

Near-term sales expectations remain negative, with 11% expecting a fall rather than a rise in the next three months.

Surveyors also warned that letting instructions continued to decline, with contributors to the survey suggesting that the coming tenant fees ban and the proposed abolition of Section 21 will lead to more buy-to-let investors exiting the market.

Simon Rubinsohn, chief economist for RICS, said: “Although there are signs of greater realism on pricing from vendors, there is little conviction in the feedback from respondents to the survey that activity in the housing market will pick up any time soon.”

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