Housing market rally runs out of steam
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by Gill Montia
The UK’s recent housing market rally has run out of steam, according to the latest poll from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).
Following the upturn in activity seen towards the expiry of the stamp duty holiday in March, prices edged lower in April with 19% more surveyors reporting falls rather than rises.
Looking ahead, respondents were far from upbeat – a net balance of 17% more surveyors were predicting further drops.
Demand from potential buyers remained flat during April as did the supply of new properties coming onto the market.
However, transaction levels entered negative territory for the first time since September 2011; London was the only region to see a rise, albeit at the slowest rate since mid-2011.
The West Midlands and Wales experienced significant declines in sales in April but surveyors’ expectations for transaction levels across the UK do remain positive for the current quarter.
RICS housing spokesperson, Peter Bolton King, comments: “Renewed concerns over the economy and talk of a double dip recession dominating the headlines in recent weeks may well have served to undermine consumer confidence.”
Adding: “What’s more, the continuing lack of affordable mortgage finance is still hindering many first time buyers who cannot afford to get a foot on the property ladder.”
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