Rics: Housing market remains sluggish

| February 8, 2011
Rics: Housing market remains sluggish

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) has today revealed uncertainty surrounding the economy means buyers and sellers remain cautious.

As a result, the housing market has got off to a slow start in 2011 as buyer demand remains weak and supply levels remain low.

However, the Institution said new buyer enquiries picked up in January, while new instructions from vendors also saw a slight rise.

Meanwhile, its survey revealed 31% more surveyors reported house price falls than gains in January – the highest since July 2010 and better than forecasts.

Commenting on its survey, Ian Perry of Rics, said: “The key indicators of market activity remained in negative territory in January, albeit a little less so than in December.

“Uncertainty over the prospects for employment, alongside the shortage of mortgage finance particularly for first-time buyers, continues to weigh heavily on transactions levels. However, there is a very clear regional pattern emerging.”

The Rics said its surveyors expects the housing market to pick up during the spring.

However, a full recovery remains some time away as spending cuts, rising unemployment, together with the ongoing lack of mortgage availability means the housing market is expected to remain somewhat subdued throughout 2011.

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