Estate Agent Boards Outside Houses

Confidence in the UK's housing market has been more "resilient" than many expected following the EU referendum, the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) has said.

Despite an initial slowdown after the vote to leave the European Union, surveyors are now expecting house prices to rise over the next 12 months.

House prices were one area highlighted as hugely vulnerable to the impact of Brexit, with many economists predicting a crash in prices similar to that seen in 2008 during the financial crisis.

In the three months to the end of July, Rics saw the rate of growth in prices slow significantly, while enquiries from new buyers, home sales and new instructions all dropped.

In fact, Rics said the number of individual surveyors reporting price increases fell to its lowest level in three years. The number of surveyors seeing prices go up outnumbered those seeing prices fall by 5% in July, but that was down from 15% in June.

Last month, Rics said regional surveyors were split about whether the vote to leave the European Union would cause prices to rise or fall over the next year. But now, a majority of 23% expect house prices to rise by the middle of 2017.

Rics chief economist Simon Rubinsohn, said: "It is not altogether surprising that near term activity measures remain relatively flat.

"However, the rebound in the key twelve month indicators in the July survey suggests that confidence remains more resilient than might have been anticipated."

Interestingly, respondents gave their answers before the Bank of England decided to cut interest rates to the new record low of 0.25%. Lower interest rates means lower mortgage rates, and lower mortgage rates generally means higher prices and more activity in the housing market as buyers look to take advantage of cheaper bills.