Housing market remains subdued, say surveyors

| April 12, 2011 | 0 Comments
Housing market remains subdued, say surveyors

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

The Institution’s March monthly survey revealed sales and prices were flat, while interest from prospective buyers was waning.

However, London appears to be bucking the trend with house prices in the capital rising for a second consecutive month.

In the meantime, the Midlands and the North experienced a sharp drop in enquiries, while Scotland, Wales and the South East noted a steady increase.

The Institution’s March seasonally adjusted house price balance increased to -23 from -26, improving for the fifth consecutive month was slightly better than economists’ forecasts of a level of -24.

Rics housing spokesperson, Ian Perry, comments: “The low level of buyer interest in many parts of the UK continues to impact on the market, resulting in some downward pressure on prices.”

The survey is broadly in line with other housing market reports and many experts are forecasting a modest drop of 2% in prices for the 2011 year, particularly in light of the Government’s spending cuts and the ongoing lack of mortgage availability.

In other economic news today, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) announced Consumer Price Inflation (CPI) fell to an annual rate of 4% in March, from February’s 28-month high of 4.4%.

Meanwhile, the British Retail Consortium reported retail sales fell sharply last month – providing further evidence of a fragile economic recovery.

According to the BRC/KPMG retail sales monitor, total sales fell by 1.9% on an annual basis – the worst fall since the series started in 1995.

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