Amongst all of the housing market surveys those prepared by the RICS and Land Registry are often considered the most representative of the market, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors survey for June 2011 was published to day .
The RICS survey suggests that the UK housing market remained in the doldrums during June, as demand failed to pick up and the supply of new property to the market fell back.
Demand for property showed little change in June, with new buyer enquiries recording a net balance of 0 per cent and this continues the trend that has seen demand broadly flat since the beginning of the year. Chartered surveyors report that because the market remains difficult to access, the only buyers who can really be considered serious are those who have already sold their property, or have a mortgage agreement in place.
New instructions, which had been stronger in April and May, fell back in June, indicating that sellers are now holding off from putting their properties on the market. This was in part attributed to uncertainty over the economy and a ‘wait and see’ attitude from potential vendors.
Overall market activity levels barely changed in June. Newly agreed sales edged up, with 6 per cent more surveyors reporting sales rose rather than fell (from 5 per cent more).
Meanwhile, the average number of completed sales per surveyor in the three months to June failed to move, staying at just 14.8. Alongside this, the average number of stocks on surveyors’ books fell fractionally to 69.5 (from 71.7).
House prices at a national level continued to slip during June, with 27 per cent more surveyors reporting price falls rather than rises – the negative net balance was little different from the previous month’s reading (-28 per cent). Looking ahead, expectations for future house prices showed a broadly similar pattern, with 27 per cent more respondents expecting prices to fall rather than rise over the next three months.
With continued uncertainty over the jobs market and the economy, this subdued picture is set to continue. London, however, remains a market apart with both sales and prices showing a greater degree of resilience.
From Collier Stevens point of view our experience surveying property in London and Kent suggests that there is movement in these markets although our clients are sensitive to price and most do try to renegotiate their agreed purchase prices on receipt of our report. We do find that more instructions than usual fail to progress from instruction to actual survey with failures of sales somewhere in the chain being the biggest cause of delay.
Image – Gisele13 via flickr