RICS: House sales stall but prices rise in Northern Ireland and Scotland

House sales across the UK continue to stall as the market weakens but house prices continue to rise in some areas and others start to pull back.

House sales across the UK continue to stall as the market weakens but house prices continue to rise across Northern Ireland and Scotland, the latest Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Residential Market Survey reveals.

The last month saw another decrease in buyer demand and agreed sales, alongside a general halt in house price growth.

UPWARD TREND

But respondents based in Northern Ireland and Scotland reported ‘a reasonably firm upward trend’ in house prices – even if the pace of growth is softer than earlier in the year.

Throughout the UK new buyer enquiries fell for a sixth successive month in the sales market and buyer demand was negative for the second month in a row.

18 WEEKS

The average time to complete a sale from its initial listing now takes close to 18 weeks – up form 16 this time last year.

There was a considerable slowing in house price growth momentum with the latest result indicating house price growth grinding to a halt.

But some areas such as East Anglia and the South East have reported a pull-back in prices.

In the lettings market, tenant demand continues to rise at a solid pace but landlord instructions are continuing to fall, pushing rents higher.

The latest feedback provides further evidence of buyer caution in the face of the sharp rise in mortgage costs.”

Simon Rubinsohn RICS image
Simon Rubinsohn, RICS

Simon Rubinsohn, RICS Chief Economist, says: “The latest feedback provides further evidence of buyer caution in the face of the sharp rise in mortgage costs.

“As a result, the volume of activity is likely to slip back over the coming months and realistic pricing is now much more important to complete a sale.

EMPLOYMENT

“The employment picture remains critical to the medium-term outlook and for the time being, that remains solid.

“As far as the lettings market is concerned, the imbalance between demand and supply still appears unusually extended leading to rent expectations in the survey remaining at elevated levels and it is difficult to see this changing anytime soon in the current environment.”


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