United Kingdom housing market picture remains mixed despite modest price growth

United Kingdom housing market picture remains mixed despite modest price growth

In central London 56% more respondents reported a fall in prices - the weakest result since 2008.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and Ulster Bank Residential Market Survey revealed NI recorded the strongest growth across the United Kingdom for house prices. Sentiment is also negative in the south east, north and east Anglia.

While central London is the only area where prices are expected to decline over the next 12 months, the national three-month price expectation balance remained slightly negative in the South East as well.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) said its monthly balance of overall British house prices picked up to +6 after dropping to a four-year low of +1 in July.

Simon Rubinsohn, RICS chief economist, said "The latest results continue to suggest that the greatest pressure on both prices and activity continues to be felt in prime central London market".

Over 60% felt landlords would exit the market over the coming year, while only 12% felt there would be a greater number of entrants.

For the ninth straight month there was little change to the record low levels of buyer inquiries, and the number of agreed sales has not grown since November past year.

Some areas are seeing house prices stall while others are seeing an increase
Some areas are seeing house prices stall while others are seeing an increase

However surveyors said anecdotal evidence suggests there is a divergence between the upper and lowers ends of the market, with a stronger picture below £250,000.

"It is interesting that over the medium term, the conclusion of the latest survey is that rental growth is likely to outpace increases in house prices".

Although signaling a return to growth, this measure is consistent with only a marginal rise in national prices, RICS said.

Experts are largely expecting prices to remain subdued over the next three months.

RICS research did show a solid growth in demand on the lettings side, with a net balance of +19% of respondents reporting an increase with little sign of the trend reversing despite 61% of those same respondents saying that they anticipated more landlords would be exiting the market over the coming twelve months.

"If this happens, it could be the change in dynamic required to get more home owners moving, although it's possible to suggest that it may take some time for the effects of this to have a significant l impact on the market".

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