Political climate and lack of stock hitting property market, say gloomy surveyors

Surveyors have painted a bleak picture of the property market with sales falling in most regions.

They say new instructions have declined and stock is taking longer to sell.

The latest RICS residential market survey shows that 20% more respondents saw a fall in agreed sales than a rise. The same proportion reported a decline in buyer enquiries.

Regionally, Wales, Scotland and the north-east were the only areas to see any pick-up for agreed sales, while sales trends were either flat or negative across the rest of the UK.

Sales expectations are also flat for the next three months and negative for the next 12.

New instructions were also down, with 14% more agents reporting a decline than a rise, while properties were also reported to be taking longer to sell, rising to 18.5 weeks on average, up from 16.6 weeks when surveyors were first asked this in February.

In another sign of market issues, more properties were found to be selling below asking price, with discounts of up to 10% in some cases.

Of properties marketed at more than £1m, 71% report sales prices coming in below asking prices, compared with 67% the last time the question was asked in July.

For homes listed at between £500,000 and £1m, 62% of contributors note sales prices coming in lower than asking prices, compared with 57% in July.

Pricing was more stable in the price bracket below £500,000, with 42% noting asking and sales prices were at roughly the same level, although 32% stated sales prices were up to 5% under.

Simon Rubinsohn, chief economist for RICS, said: “The combination of the increased cost of moving, a lack of fresh stock coming to the market, uncertainty over the political climate and now an interest rate hike appears to be taking its toll on activity in the housing market.

“With both buyer enquiries slipping and sales expectations also subdued, the sense is that home owners are staying put and first-time purchasers are increasingly focusing on that part of the market supported by the Help to Buy incentive.

“A stagnant second-hand market is bad news for the wider economy, not just in terms of spending but also because it restricts mobility.

“Prices do now seem under pressure at the more expensive end of the market with a further rise in the number of properties transacting at below the asking price. But it is important not to characterise the whole of the market by what is happening in parts of London and the wider south-east.”

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One Comment

  1. GPL

    Mrs May is apparently setting a date in law for our Brexit departure…. finally some sort of detail that may offer a lifebelt for a crumbling economy/confidence.

    In so many areas the UK is teetering on the edge and this rudderless performance is undermining the UK economy which was on a steady rebuild after the last calamity.

    Sure, there are successes however the underlying picture is a negative one.

    Frankly, in my humble opinion none of the political parties are worthy of the country’s support however that’s what voting is for….. pick your runners & riders and hope for the best?

    Calamity May, Are we going to San Francisco Corbyn, Shouty No Substance Sturgeon etc…. who knows where this circus will end up.

    In the meantime Ladies & Gents, buckle up, head down and push all the benefits that a real High Street Estate Agency Offers. There are bumpy times ahead however the Onliners are likely to suffer much, much more because real service matters in tough times.

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