You are here: Home - Mortgages - Buy To Let - News -

The UK housing market is subdued but stable

0
Written by: Christina Hoghton
11/05/2017
Momentum is continuing to ebb in the UK housing market as sales dip slightly and buyer interest remains flat in April, according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

It found that new instructions continued to drop in April, and puts this down to uncertainty due to the calling of an early election and the ramifications of stamp duty changes.

The lack of choice for would-be buyers across the UK is still a key issue, said RICS, and in April new instructions remained negative for a fourteenth month in a row at the national level, leaving average properties on estate agents books hovering close to record lows.

Demand flat

New buyer enquiries were unchanged nationally having failed to see any meaningful growth since November 2016. Alongside this stagnant buyer demand, respondents reported agreed sales were beginning to slip slightly following a number of months of flat transactions.

This flat picture for sales at the national level is expected to continue over the next three months, while the twelve-month outlook is more optimistic with 31% more respondents anticipating a pick-up in sales over the year ahead at the national level.

Prices robust

Despite the subdued backdrop, 22% more respondents saw prices rising in April, (unchanged from March), underpinned by the lack of stock. As such, house prices continue to rise nationally, with the pace of growth steady over the last five months, although there is variation across the UK.

In Central London, the indicator on prices has been in negative territory for 13 months. In addition, price growth has eased noticeably in in East Anglia recently and, along with the North East, was not seen to have seen any increase in April.

At the other end of the scale, in the North West 67% more respondents noted higher (rather than lower) prices in April with the reading having been above 50% in this part of the country in each of the last seven months.

Simon Rubinsohn, RICS chief economist, said: “Although the picture clearly does vary across the country, the bulk of the feedback we are receiving points to a fairly flat summer for both activity and prices.

“Lack of stock on the market remains a key challenge for the sector with recent and forthcoming tax changes having a material impact on transaction levels, particularly at higher price points.

“Uncertainty relating to the forthcoming general election is also highlighted by some respondents as a reason for inertia.”

There are 0 Comment(s)

If you wish to comment without signing in, click your cursor in the top box and tick the 'Sign in as a guest' box at the bottom.

Rail strikes: Your travel and refund rights

Thousands of railway workers will strike across three days this week, grinding much of the transport system to...

How your monthly bills could rise as the base rate reaches 1.25%

The Bank of England has raised the base rate to 1.25% as predicted – the fifth consecutive rise in just six ...

Low-income pensioner? You could gain £3k top-up

Hundreds of thousands of retirees struggling with a low income are missing out on Pension Credit worth £3,300...

What will happen if rates change

How your finances will be impacted by a rise in interest rates.

Regular Savings Calculator

Small regular contributions can build up nicely over time.

Online Savings Calculator

Work out how your online savings can build over time.

DIY investors: 10 common mistakes to avoid

For those without the help and experience of an adviser, here are 10 common DIY investor mistakes to avoid.

Mortgage down-valuations: Tips to avoid pulling out of a house sale

Down-valuations are on the rise. So, what does it mean for home buyers, and what can you do?

Five tips for surviving a bear market mauling

The S&P 500 has slipped into bear market territory and for UK investors, the FTSE 250 is also on the edge. Her...

Money Tips of the Week