The impending threat of Brexit has continued to push down the UK real estate market, with prices falling so rapidly over the last six years and sales prospects, according to British surveyors, the lowest in two decades.
The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) said the number of inquiries, agreed sales and new instructions had declined in December.
Sales expectations for the next three months, at -28%, were the lowest since the survey started in 1999 - the difference between the number of respondents expecting an increase and the expected number is declining.
Sales expectations were either unchanged or negative in all regions of the United Kingdom for the period from January to March, when the United Kingdom is to leave the EU.
Separate government figures showed that house prices fell for the third month in a row in November. The data prompted the EY Item Club - an economic forecasting group based on the Ministry of Finance's economic model - to warn that house prices could fall by as much as 5% this year if the United Kingdom breaks out of the EU without an agreement. The Item Club said that if the United Kingdom leaves with a deal, prices could rise 2% over 2019.
Many surveying engineers and real estate agents surveyed by Rics described the market as "very quiet" in December, adding to the usual pre-Christmas dip caused by Brexit uncertainty.
David Knights of David Brown & Co in Ipswich said: "One of the quietest Decembers in many years, with very few inspections, visits or sales."
Mark Wiggin of Strutt and Parker in Ludlow said some customers have withdrawn from the market because of Brexit.
Quentin Jackson-Stops from the Northampton-based agency said: "The Brexit is a cloud that surpasses the market and its impact should not be underestimated. The uncertainty causes the falling number of real estate transactions. "
The rics measurement of prices fell in the negative for the fourth month from -11% to -19%. The lowest since August 2012. The 12-month outlook for prices remains largely unchanged.
The panel of experts also pointed to the lack of supply and affordability as stockpiles and buyer interest continued to decline in December. The real estate agents have an average of 42 properties in their books, almost to record low.
According to the latest data from the Land Registry and the National Statistics Office, the average price of a property in the UK in November decreased by 0.1% month-on-month to 230,630 GBP, after falling by 0.4% in October and by 0% in September, 3% had fallen. Thus, the annual growth rate in November was 2.8%, slightly above the 2.7% in October, which was the weakest since July 2013.
The West Midlands recorded the strongest annual house price growth of 4.6% in November, despite a 0.4% drop in the month-on-month reading to £ 197,387.
Real estate in London fell 1.2% month-on-month, down 0.7% year-on-year, the only region with an annual price decline.
Separate data from the real estate website Rightmove showed a further increase in rental levels. Average asking rents in London reached an all-time high of £ 2,034 in the fourth quarter of 2018 as the number of available properties declined. Compared to the previous year, the number of properties available for rent has fallen by 22%.
Rightmove forecasts that asking rents in London will increase 4% this year and 3% outside the capital.
Outside of London, Northwestern locations had the greatest demand from tenants such as Bootle, Runcorn and Birkenhead.