First of all, you are right in your assessment; it is pretty bad out there right now due to both summertime + Brexit vote. Especially the latter is impacting hiring manager decision, most are holding fire (and I've heard some places implementing rate caps, cuts or implementation freezes).
Contracting market is quite cyclical and hottest periods are Feb-Apr and Sept-Oct. Aligned to that, worst times are July-Aug (summer vacations) and Nov-Jan(first half - again due holidays + budget prep + decision taking for projects to launch)
There are some agencies preparing reports on the market as well (i.e. Morgan Mckinley) which you can use to keep track of market in general.
Wishing you the best in finding a good gig for yourself...