Housing market offers little cheer

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The south west housing market remained subdued last month, as economic uncertainty and lack of mortgage finance continued to impact on property sales.

That’s the conclusion of the latest RICS UK Housing Market survey published today, which reports that the number of sales per surveyor over the three months to August remained low, at an average of 14 (on a seasonally adjusted basis).

Meanwhile, average stocks on surveyors’ books dropped off to an average of 52 (from 58).

This month, respondents in the region were also asked for reasons why they felt sales levels continue to be subdued. The most commonly cited reason for this was general economic uncertainty (73%). In addition, 58% of surveyors felt a lack of mortgage finance was impacting negatively on transactions.

New buyer enquiries, which signal buyer demand, fell back slightly in August, as 17% more chartered surveyors in the region reported an increase rather than a decrease (down from +27 in July). Meanwhile, new instructions, which indicate supply levels to the market, moved to a net balance of -26% (from -11% in July).

The sluggish market contributed to the downbeat pricing picture in August, with 20% more surveyors reporting prices fell rather than rose.

 

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