Estate agents (5) Image: Nigel Mykura

The run-up to the EU referendum and the Brexit vote itself has had a dramatic effect on the UK's housing market, according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics).

The research found that supply of homes up for sales fell at its sharpest rate on record and demand from buyers fell to its lowest level since the financial crisis started in 2008.

Rics said it expects house prices to fall across the country over the next three months, with only London and East Anglia to see continued growth.

The survey is the first major indicator of the housing market since the Brexit vote.

It found that 27% more surveyors expected a fall than expected a rise in the coming quarter. And the referendum was having an impact on prices during the campaign. Nearly half (45%) more surveyors said prices were already slipping during June in the weeks before the referendum - a higher number than Rics has ever seen since launching its survey in 1998.

A balance of 36% of surveyors saw new inquiries from potential buyers fall, rather than rise, around the time the referendum result was confirmed - it's lowest reading since the height of the financial crisis in mid-2008.

Simon Rubinsohn, Rics chief economist, said: "Big events such as elections typically do unsettle markets, so it is no surprise that the EU referendum has been associated with a downturn in activity.

"However, even without the build-up to the vote and subsequent decision in favour of Brexit, it is likely that the housing numbers would have slowed during the second quarter of the year.

"Rics data does suggest that the dip in activity will persist over the coming months, but the critical influence looking further ahead is how the economy performs in the wake of the uncertainty triggered by the vote to leave."

Property firms, particularly housebuilders, saw their shares lose significant ground following the Brexit vote, and are still struggling to regain their losses. Earlier this week, the UK's largest housebuilder, Barratt, said it could slow down the number of new houses completed in the remainder of 2016 as a result of the referendum outcome.