Estate agents and surveyors say they are seeing the weakest level of interest from buyers since the immediate aftermath of the Brexit vote, as activity in the property market stalls.
The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) reported a net balance of surveyors reporting more buyer enquiries in the month, of minus 20 per cent, the weakest reading since the aftermath of the European Union referendum in June 2016.
It found that 20pc more respondents noted a fall rather than rise in buyer demand, making it the sixth consecutive negative reading.
Alongside this, 19 per cent more respondents reported a fall in agreed sales rather than a rise - the poorest monthly reading since July past year.
The number of new buyers and sales in the housing market fell again in September, with signs of sharp falls in demand in London, according to an influential industry body. London and the surrounding south-east England were at the forefront of the decline in sales, while only Wales and south-west England were reported to have seen an increase in sales, with the rest of the United Kingdom flat.
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Additionally, 15% more respondents reported a fall in agreed sales rather than a rise, which is the lowest reading since July 2015. Only Wales and the South West were cited to have seen an increase in sales, while all other parts of the United Kingdom saw sales flat.
As sales and new buyers decline, new instructions from home sellers across the West Midlands also fell, having declined continuously for nearly the last two years.
RICS chief economist Simon Rubinsohn said there was a big difference between London and southeastern England - where prices are falling and expected to decline further - and most of the rest of the United Kingdom, where prices are rising.
He added: "It was always questionable to talk about the housing market as a single entity but the stark divergence in key readings from the latest RICS survey demonstrates in the clearest possible terms just how important the regional narrative is at the present time".
Nevertheless, in the nation as a whole there are still signs of a shortage in the supply of homes, Rics reported, with "evidence of shortage of stock both in the new build and second hand market". In part, this is a reflection of affordability constraints hitting the higher priced segments of the market. And despite the announcements at the recent Conservative Party conference, it is hard to envisage this changing any time soon. "It is perhaps also indicative of. the increasing possibility of the first hike in base rates in over ten years", Rubinsohn said. "Against such a backdrop, prices in general are likely to remain elevated and indeed, as the survey indicates, continues to rise over the medium term in most parts of the country".
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