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Builders weigh on FTSE as house price fall tipped

House builders drag down FTSE 100 as RICS survey points to first fall in UK property prices since 2012.

Builders weigh on FTSE as house price fall tipped

House builders have led the FTSE 100 lower after data showed property prices were set to fall for the first time since 2012.

The UK blue-chip index fell 49 points, or 0.8%, to 6,253, with builders among the heaviest fallers after a poll by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) pointed to falling prices.

Taylor Wimpey (TW) fell 1.7% to 185.9p, Berkeley (BKGH) was down 1.7% at £31.83 and Persimmon (PSN) traded 1% lower at £20.04 while on the FTSE 250, Bellway (BWY) dropped 1% to £26.45.

The RICS poll showed demand from home buyers falling at the fastest rate in eight years, and more property professionals than not saying they expected prices to fall over the next three months.

'It appears to me that what we are looking at is a short-term drop caused by market uncertainty resulting from the forthcoming EU referendum coupled by a slowdown following the rush to get into the market ahead of the tax change on the purchase of investment properties,' said RICS chief economist Simon Rubinsohn.

On the FTSE 250, shares in Essentra (ESNT) tumbled 28.6% to 592.5p after the specialist plastics maker issued a profit warning. Citywire AA-rated Nigel Thomas is among the company's biggest backers, with the stock the seventh largest holding in his AXA Framlington UK Select Opportunities fund.

Citywire AAA-rated Neil Woodford had been a backer, increasing his stake in the business towards the end of last year, but has since sold out.

RPC (RPC) was among the top 'mid cap' risers, up 3.9% to 847p, as investors gave the thumbs up to the packaging company's £261 million offer for Polythene Industries.

That sent shares in British Polythene Industries (BRPI) to the top of the FTSE Small Cap index, up 31.8% to 959.6p, cheering its major fund manager backers, who include Paul Marriage and John Warren, managers of the Schroder UK Dynamic Smaller Companies fund and Citywire AA-rated Fraser Mackersie and Simon Moon, managers of the Unicorn UK income fund.

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Nigel Thomas
Nigel Thomas
112/165 in Equity - UK (All Companies) (Performance over 3 years) Average Total Return: 23.42%
Neil Woodford
Neil Woodford
165/165 in Equity - UK (All Companies) (Performance over 3 years) Average Total Return: -8.84%
Fraser Mackersie
Fraser Mackersie
5/165 in Equity - UK (All Companies) (Performance over 3 years) Average Total Return: 49.44%
Paul Marriage
Paul Marriage
14/72 in Alternative UCITS - Long/Short Equity (Performance over 3 years) Average Total Return: 18.02%
John Warren
John Warren
15/72 in Alternative UCITS - Long/Short Equity (Performance over 3 years) Average Total Return: 18.02%
Simon Moon
Simon Moon
23/55 in Equity - UK Smaller Companies (Performance over 3 years) Average Total Return: 40.99%
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