New instructions to sell have continued to decline, extending a run that has lasted nearly two years.
In the latest RICS Residential Market Survey – covering 634 branches coming from 337 responses – 10% more surveyors reported a fall in new instructions rather than a rise.
It comes as the RICS report showed new buyer enquiries edged lower again during December with 15% more respondents reporting a decline in demand. This is steeper than the 5% drop reported for November.
More also noticed a fall in agreed sales, with 13% more noting a decline, dipping further than the 10% a month before.
Looking ahead, sales expectations nationally remained flat for the coming three months, but almost 30% more were positive about the next 12 months.
Meanwhile, surveyors are yet to see a sales boost from the first-time buyer Stamp Duty changes and many aren’t expecting much impact at all, research claims.
The survey found 86% of members have not noticed any response to the Stamp Duty exemptions for first-time buyers announced in the Autumn Budget last November.
Two thirds of surveyors also anticipated it would have little consequence, while 12% felt it would result in higher overall activity.
This appears to contradict government claims earlier this month that the changes have helped more than 16,000 buyers, although it only covers the relatively quieter period of December.
Simon Rubinsohn, chief economist for RICS, said: “The initial feedback from the market doesn’t suggest that the change in the Stamp Duty regime announced in the Budget is going to have a material impact on activity.
“Indeed, the risk was always that a good portion of the benefit would be capitalised in the price, therefore limiting the benefit for the first-time buyer.”