Rics survey reveals house price slide

| February 13, 2008 | 0 Comments

The latest survey of members by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) shows a rise in the number of surveyors reporting a fall in house prices.

In January the number of estate agents reporting a fall in prices increased to 54.7% above the number reporting a rise.

The figure has grown for six consecutive months for the first time since the house price crash of the 1990s, having risen from 49.1% in December.

By comparison, the largest ever difference between those reporting falling prices and rising prices stood at 60.1% in November 1992.

In January, new buyer enquiries fell; with 35% more chartered surveyors reporting a decrease in new buyer enquiries, up from 25% in December.

The disappointing news follows yesterday’s report from the Council of Mortgage Lenders showing that mortgage lending in the fourth-quarter of 2007 was at its lowest level since 1995.

Rics spokesman, Jeremy Leaf, is hopeful that last week’s base rate cut will improve demand, explaining: “A lack of demand and confidence in the housing market is clearly behind the recent price slowdown. Tightening mortgage lending criteria is a block to many who are keen to take the housing market plunge.”

Adding: “If mortgage lenders filter the recent interest rate cuts into the market, demand should begin to increase. In the near term, the housing market will continue to be shielded from significant price falls while employment conditions are strong. The market need only fear a significant fall in prices if job loses start to multiply.”

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