Housing market in England and Wales loses momentum

The housing market in England and Wales weakened in December as restrictions were tightened across both nations and the end of the stamp duty holiday drew closer, according to a closely watched survey.

Sales, new inquiries, near-term transactions and house price expectations all softened in December, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors’ monthly survey showed on Thursday.

The report provides the strongest evidence so far that the buoyant housing market weakened at the end of last year as the country faced a surge in infections from a more transmissible Covid-19 variant.

Simon Rubinsohn, chief economist at Rics, said: “Although the housing market remains open for business in the midst of the latest national lockdown, there is a sense from respondents to the survey that the new restrictions will still impact on transaction activity over the coming months.”

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