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March 11, 2008    

Rics house price figures close to 1990s gloom

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by Gill Montia

In its February survey of members, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) found that the number of UK surveyors reporting house price falls was close to the historic level of June 1990.

During the month 64.1% more surveyors reported a fall than a rise in house prices, up from 54.7% in January.

The trend has continued for seven consecutive months and is close to the June 1990 figure, when 64.5% more surveyors reported house price falls than increases.

Only, Scotland presented a different scenario, with 25% more surveyors reporting price rises than decreases, up 18% on January.

The Rics also found that enquiries from would-be new buyers fell for the 15th month in a row, commenting: “Many would-be-buyers are either struggling to raise the necessary finance to precipitate a move or are exercising caution in light of current economic uncertainty.”

Last month, some 37% more surveyors reported a decline in new buyers’ enquiries while unsold property on surveyors’ books was up 8.5%, representing the fifth monthly rise in excess of 8%.

Rics spokesman, Ian Perry, says: “While there is very little new supply coming onto the market, it is unlikely that there will be significant price drops in the short term but the build-up of unsold stocks will encourage buyers to negotiate lower asking prices.”

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