RICS: First signs of stability returning to property market

Posted on Sunday, June 24, 2018

The latest analysis of the UK housing market by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors has revealed that new instructions have moved out of negative territory for the first time in over two years.

RICS suggests that its data represents signs that the market is "tentatively showing some signs of stability coming through on the supply side."

However, the institution was keen to point out that this was insufficient to shift overall market sentiment as activity remained more or less flat and sales data indicating that the market is "unlikely to gain impetus, at least in the near term".

The figures revealed no change in house prices over the month, following a marginal decline in April, but regional variations continue across the UK. The capital saw further price falls and it remains the only region where prices are expected to decline on a twelve month basis.

At the same time, downward pressure on prices was reported across the wider South East and after nearly three years of solid price growth, momentum appears to have slipped across the South West with the price balance in negative territory for the second month in a row.

By way of contrast, house prices continue to rise firmly in the Midlands, the North West, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland. Across the UK, buyer demand continues to decline but to a lesser extent that at the beginning of the year.

Six out of the twelve regions covered in the survey saw an increase in new buyer enquiries over the month, again highlighting the mix bag of result across the UK.

Meanwhile, agreed sales held broadly steady for the second successive month and recorded the least negative reading for fourteen months. However the regional breakdown suggests that sales are rising firmly in just four regions whilst sales trends are either flat or negative across the rest of the UK.

Looking ahead, respondents expect little change in transactions over the coming months, at least at the national level, although the twelve-month outlook is marginally more positive. Contributors in Scotland and Northern Ireland returned the strongest sales outlook over both the three and twelve-month horizon. Elsewhere, although still positive, sales growth is expected to be only modest.

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