UK Housing Market Stifled By Low Buyer Demand

The UK residential market remains stagnant, suffering from low demand and a dearth of qualified first-time buyers. The New Year could see renewed activity from buyers and sellers …

The UK residential market remains stagnant, suffering from low demand and a dearth of qualified first-time buyers. The New Year could see renewed activity from buyers and sellers who have been dragging their feet in an uncertain market. See the following article from Property Wire for more on this.

Lack of demand from buyers is stifling the UK residential real estate market as the newest price index to be published shows prices slipping further.

Surveyors’ expectations for property prices over the next three months remain negative, according to the November UK Housing Market Survey from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors out today (Tuesday December 14).

Some 44% more chartered surveyors reported prices fell rather than rose in November, a slight improvement on October’s net balance of -49 per cent. Lack of demand from buyers continues to stifle the market, and new buyer inquiries fell for the sixth consecutive month, the report says.

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First time buyers are in particularly short supply, as large deposits required by lenders and availability of mortgage finance keep many from getting a foot on the property ladder.

However, the sharp rise in stock coming to the market since the spring appears to be fading and new instructions have now dipped for two months in succession. Surveyors report many would be sellers have decided to wait until the new year to put their property on the market.

The report also shows that unsold properties remained on surveyors books for longer in November, as the average number of stocks rose to 69.5, from 67.2. Meanwhile, the average number of sales per surveyor decreased, with just 14.8 sales on average taking place over the last three months. As a result, the sales to stock ratio fell to its lowest level since May 2009.

Regionally, the West Midlands and Northern Ireland registered the most negative readings for house prices, with 67% more surveyors reporting falls than rises in both areas. The South West continues to buck the national trend as the only region to report a positive net balance for newly agreed sales.

Looking ahead, surveyors’ expectations for house prices over the next three months remain negative, with a net balance of -41% expecting prices to fall. However, sales expectations are more upbeat, with 6% more predicting sales to increase rather than decrease over the next three months.

‘There was little change in the housing market in November as prices continued to edge lower and sales levels generally remained subdued. Despite some better economic data, fears over how future spending cuts will impact on the jobs market are clearly still weighing heavily on potential purchasers’ minds, with many deciding to wait and see until the New Year. Meanwhile, the lack of mortgage finance continues to deter first time buyers,’ said RICS spokesperson, Ian Perry.

This article has been republished from Property Wire. You can also view this article at Property Wire, an international real estate news site.

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