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Housing market has slowed down in recent weeks, says RICS

Housing market activity has softened in recent weeks due to concerns over the pandemic and the imminent end of the stamp duty holiday, according to the latest figures from RICS, which said that the housing market began 2021 on a weaker footing, despite the sector being allowed to remain open during the third national lockdown, with surveyors reporting activity across the country was down when compared to previous months.

RICS said a balance of -28% of surveyors saw a decline in buyer enquiries in January, with the listings index dropping to -38%, and the sales index falling to -18%, reflecting a fall in agreed sales as the stamp duty holiday deadline draws near.

Tom Bill, head of UK Residential Research at Knight Frank, commented: “The initial wave of activity since the market re-opened last May is working its way through the system but a third national lockdown and the closing window of the stamp duty holiday is magnifying that effect. Home-schooling means selling a property has taken a back-seat for many people and the ticking clock of a stamp duty holiday will have deterred others in the belief they won’t make the deadline.”

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