Surveyors warn housing market faces slow start to 2017
Dec 10, 2016, 00:55
Although there are some signs that the numbers may begin to edge upwards in the new year, the combination of macro uncertainty, the on-going supply shortfall, with stock levels around historic lows, and the myriad of tax changes impacting on buyers suggest that any pick-up in activity will be relatively modest.
Meanwhile, 7% more surveyors said prices fell in the past three months than those who said they rose.
RICS surveys work on the basis of a balance of its contributing member agents who come out for or against a market criterion - so, for example, its survey over the past month has revealed a balance of 15 per cent more RICS members reporting rent rises than those reporting a standstill or a rent fall.
Looking ahead, expectations for sales and price growth softened slightly, but surveyors still expect both to rise over the coming months.
As stock continues to dwindle, the headline RICS price balance has risen to 30% which is the highest reading since April, and most of the United Kingdom is seeing an increase in prices. A net 13 per cent of surveyors reported a rise in new buyer inquiries last month, near a record low.
Mr Filice, who is also director of Cardiff firm Kelvin Francis, said the survey showed an "overall slowdown in transaction activity since the spring". Moreover, the modest growth in sales activity, alongside a lack of new instructions, has led to a further decline in homes for sale.
Its previous research had reported a fall in activity in May following changes to stamp duty for second homes, and further slumps in the aftermath of the vote to leave the EU.
For this reason surveyors expect the beginning of 2017 to be quiet reflecting the lack of fresh properties coming to market. The volume of new properties coming on the market was flat in November, with a 0% overall change recorded as an increase in homes coming to market in some parts of the United Kingdom offset falls seen elsewhere.
Figures from the Halifax show that prices rose by 6% compared with a year ago, taking the average price of a home to £218,002.
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