Ruth Mitchell

Member Article

House prices fall at fastest rate since October

UK house prices fell at their fastest rate since October last month, as demand failed to pick up and the number of properties up for sale dropped off.

According to a Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), the house price balance fell to -22% from a downwardly revised -17%, below previous forecasts for it to hold steady at -16%.

The only region in the UK which witnessed an increase was London, although the pace had even weakened considerably there since the start of the year.

Commenting on the figures, Simon Rubinsohn, chief executive said: “The housing market didn’t manage to turn a corner last month and activity remained in the doldrums.

Much of this decline was was due to the expiration of the first time buyer stamp duty exemption, which meant that no transaction tax had to be paid on homes worth less than £250,000.

New buyer enquiries and new vendor instructions also fell, recording their lowest net balances in more than 18 months.

Many consumers are also struggling as Government austerity measures dig in, wage growth is below inflation and the cost of credit remains high.

Optimism still remains low following news that the UK slipped back into recession at the start of 2012, and following a raft of gloomy data. RICS anticipate that price expectations will fall further into negative territory.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Ruth Mitchell .

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