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Housing market stall in June

The UK housing market faced a stalemate during June, as demand failed to pick up and supply of new property fell back.

Housing market stall in June

That’s according to the latest RICS UK Housing Market survey, released today (July 12).

New buyer enquiries recording a net balance of 0% (compared with -1% in May); with demand having been broadly flat for the last six months. Chartered surveyors are reporting that 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 to a net balance of +1% (from +14%) in June, indicating that sellers may now be reluctant to put their properties on the market.

Overall activity levels barely changed in June. Newly agreed sales edged up marginally, with 6% more surveyors reporting sales rose rather than fell (from 5% 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). Surveyors note that properties are still selling, but only if priced “realistically”.

House prices at a national level continued to slip during June, with 27% more surveyors reporting price falls rather than rises – the negative net balance was little different from the previous month’s reading (-28%). Looking ahead, expectations for future house prices showed a broadly similar pattern, with 27% more respondents expecting prices to fall rather than rise over the next three months.

RICS housing spokesperson, Alan Collett, said: “The housing market was pretty flat during June. Buyer interest in purchasing property remains relatively low across much of the UK and the volume of new stock coming to the market has slackened. 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.”

About Fiona Russell-Horne

Fiona Russell-Horne
Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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