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Housing market had ‘January blues’ as performance fell in three key areas – RICS

  • 08/02/2018
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Housing market had ‘January blues’ as performance fell in three key areas  – RICS
Enquiries, sales and instructions all tumbled in January in a triple hit for the housing market, according to the latest survey valuer sentiment survey from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).


Prices edged up overall but at a regional level are falling in pockets of the country – with the top end of the market hardest hit, the findings showed.

London performed the most poorly, with prices also falling in the South East, East Anglia and the South East.

The North West of England, Northern Ireland and Wales had the strongest house price growth.

One bright spot in the survey showed that 12-month optimism for sales are positive in almost all parts of the UK.

For the 10th consecutive month, new buyer enquiries sank, as 11% more respondents reported a fall than a rise, according to RICS as it reported a case of the ‘January Blues’ in the market.

Sales also slipped last month, while expectations in the short-term are for transaction levels to remain flat.

There is little sign of an increase in properties coming to market with 17% more respondents noting a decline in January – the weakest number since May 2017.

In the lettings market, tenant demand edged up in the three months to January while landlord instruction fell, giving way to positive rental growth expectations in the short-term.

However, the regional picture is varied with expectations in London negative and positive outside of the South East.


Sentiment rather than facts

Brian Murphy, head of lending for Mortgage Advice Bureau (MAB) said: “The report issued by the RICS today is based on the results of a sentiment- based survey, rather than hard data, which provides us with an insight into how surveyors perceived the market over the last month in their local area, rather than being based on hard data.

“On a national basis, whilst the near-term view on pricing may be slightly downbeat, the report does indicates that many surveyors believe that the twelve month view on the UK property market is still one of stability and modest growth, with eleven of the twelve regions expecting to see prices increase over the course of 2018 and only surveyors in London expecting to see value continue to slide in the long term.”

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