The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors has found that London is the only area in the country continuing to report rising house prices. The report stated that: “the rest of the UK remains in the doldrums”. In contrast, retail sales were up, thanks mainly to the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. Brits reportedly spent on small items over the Jubilee weekends, which led to a 2.1% increase in retail sales in June.
RICS confirmed that during the month of June, fewer people put their homes up for sale and demand was low. Interest has reportedly been dwindling since the end of the stamp duty holiday in March, and as a consequence of uncertainty in the Eurozone.
Simon Rubinsohn, chief economist at RICS, commented: “The housing market didn’t manage to turn a corner last month and activity remained in the doldrums.”
He went on to say: “Although there is some positivity that the amount of sales going through is going to see an increase, it is unlikely that we will see any real movement until purchasing a property is more affordable and accessible for the likes of first time buyers.”
RICS latest report revealed that almost two thirds of surveyors claimed that house prices had failed to rise over the three months to June. Some 22% more surveyors reported a fall in house prices rather than a rise. When asked for their predictions regarding house prices over the next 12 months, 19% more surveyors said they expected to see decreases rather than increases, compared with 8% in May.
The RICS report for June also included data and analysis on newly agreed sales. These reportedly slowed for the three months to June. Some 12% more surveyors reported decreases as opposed to increases in newly agreed sales in comparison with 5% in May.
Having said all that, it’s not all doom and gloom for the UK property market. The outlook for sales volume is a more positive one. House prices may be flat but it appears that house sales may be edging their way up in the coming months.
There was an increase in the number of surveyors predicting house sales to increase, with 11% more forecasting a rise in the number of transactions, compared with 9% in May.
The London property market is currently the most successful, with cash-rich foreign investors choosing bricks and mortar in the capital as a safe haven for their wealth.
Sources: RICS, Guardian online.