United Kingdom house price growth at four-year low, surveyors say

There is a low level of new buyer inquiries for the 17th consecutive month

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors said that the number of surveyors reporting a price rise in July was down from 7% in June to 1% - the lowest since early 2013.

A net balance half of all surveyors in London say property prices have not risen in the last three months, while the South East also recorded a negative reading, the weakest for the region since 2011.

Average house prices across the United Kingdom only remained positive in July because prices remain "quite firmly on an upward trend" in some areas, led by Northern Ireland, the West Midlands and the South West. Nationally, homes at the top end of the market (those listed at more than £1million) saw the greatest deviation in agreed prices, with 68% of respondents reporting sales prices coming in below the asking price.

Almost 60 per cent of homes listed between £500,000 and £1m fetched sale prices lower than asking prices.

Two-thirds of those surveyed reported that homes marketed at more than £1m had sold for less than their original asking price.

Record low stock numbers, political uncertainty and the aftermath of tax changes are obstacles now hindering the United Kingdom housing market, according to the latest analysis.

House prices in the United Kingdom rose at the slowest rate in over four years in July, hurt by lingering political uncertainty, recent tax changes and a limited number number of homes for sale, according to an industry body. "And there are some very real consequences for the economy from all of this including the impact on the ability of people to be mobile when looking for work", Rubinsohn added.

Backed by the Ulster Bank, the latest Residential Market Survey contradicts the claim from the Ulster University's latest Quarterly House Price Index on Wednesday that there had been a 1.1% fall in values.

"There is no real indication that the housing market will become materially more affordable anytime soon", RICS chief economist Simon Rubinsohn said.

The report is the latest to show the housing market has slowed considerablyin the past year, with price inflation cooling and mortgage demand slipping.

"It is however possible that the downward trend suggested by surveyors in the capital and surrounding commuter belt is perhaps a localised reaction to the current political and economic climate, which is always felt more acutely in this part of the country due to City-related employment factors".

Richard Sexton, director at e.surv, doesn't think housing professionals should be too concerned by the slowdown indicated by RICS.

"However, the fundamental issue which remains and prevents a significant advancement in our housing market is a chronic lack of supply".

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