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LSL forecasts house sales fall

The number of house sales in the UK is expected to fall in the second quarter of 2016, estate agency LSL Property Services (LSL) warned on Thursday. In an update the group saw revenue from house sales improve 19.9% in the three months to 31 March, but reports a softer market in April.Shares in the 305 million cap remained largely flat on the update, moving 0.9% higher to 293p. Such an upbeat first quarter update was expected with the Bank of England previously reporting that house sale volume was 21% higher in the opening two months of 2016, compared to the same period a year earlier. This is the result of investors looking to beat incoming stamp duty increases on second homes and buy-to-let properties from 1 April. LSLs lettings business reports a 13% rise in income during the first quarter.Management also believes that the European Union (EU) referendum on 23 June is causing more caution among buyers. LSL owns the YourMove, Reeds Rains and Marsh & Parsons brands and also provides surveying and brokering services.

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