Heat is on for housing market
Shares in housebuilder Redrow and estate agency group Countrywide were under pressure yesterday after the two firms flagged a slowdown in the UK housing market.
Redrow said that “ongoing political and economic uncertainty” caused sales to slip in recent weeks compared to a “very strong” market last year.
Countrywide, meanwhile, warned that the housing market was “challenging” and the number of transactions made was likely to fall in contrast to 2016.
The update comes after a survey from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) showed the level of house sales falling or coming in flat across the UK.
In a statement ahead of Redrow’s annual general meeting, chairman Steve Morgan said: “I am pleased to report that for the first 18 weeks of the current financial year, Redrow has traded in line with expectations.
“The sales market was buoyant in the first quarter, however ongoing political and economic uncertainty has resulted in a slight slowdown in sales in recent weeks in comparison to a very strong sales market last year. I don’t anticipate that last week’s interest rate increase will have any adverse impact on the market as mortgage rates by historical standards remain low and very competitive.”
Countrywide saw group revenues drop 7 per cent to £175.1 million in the third quarter compared to last year.
It said London sales and lettings, its financial services unit and its business-to-business arm proved resilient, helping to offset a slowdown in UK housing transactions. Estate agency revenues slipped 16 per cent to £47.8m over the threemonth period, with lettings revenues falling 3 per cent.