Rics: Housing market remains subdued

Rics: Housing market remains subdued

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) has today revealed the UK housing market remains weak.

However, it appears house price falls are easing. While prices in England and Wales continued to fall last month, it was at the slowest pace since last summer.

The Rics revealed 26% more surveyors reported house price falls than gains in February, from 31% in January - better than forecasts.

However, the Institution said the ongoing uncertainty surrounding the economy means buyer confidence remains low.

The Rics also said new buyer enquiries and sales stabilised after falling in previous months.

London appears to be bucking the trend with house prices here rising for the first time in seven months.

Rics comments: “Broad trends in the survey indicate an increasing variation in the housing market across the UK, with London and to a lesser extent the South East operating in a very different orbit.”

Meanwhile, overall demand for property remains at record lows, with a net balance of -1% reporting falls in demand.

First-time buyers, in particular, are still struggling to get a foot on the property ladder. Without a substantial deposit, they are unable to secure a mortgage.

A full recovery of the housing market 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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