House prices rise in London yet market weak in rest of UK
SLUGGISH activity in the UK’s housing market has dashed hopes for a springtime boom, a leading survey exposed today.
Yet property sales in London continue to defy the weak market elsewhere in the country, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) revealed.
London has been the only region to report rising prices in each of the last four RICS surveys. Across the country in May, 28 per cent more surveyors reported falling prices than those reporting price hikes – a dip from April’s negative balance of minus 21 per cent.
Activity across the UK is slow, with newly agreed sales dropping back to a positive balance of just five per cent. Surveyors in London were more likely to report a rise in newly agreed sales than in any other region, with a positive balance of more than 20 per cent citing growing activity.
“Buyer interest in purchasing property remains flat across much of the country and there is little sign of this changing any time soon,” said a downbeat Ian Perry, spokesperson for RICS.
New buyer enquiries slipped into negative territory again in May, with two per cent more surveyors reporting a fall in the number of new enquiries, compared to those reporting a rise.
“On the other hand, the appetite to rent is continuing to grow. And, with little new supply coming onto the lettings market, the cost of renting is increasing and will continue to do so,” Perry added.