View the article online at http://citywire.co.uk/money/article/a514640
House prices slip lower as surveyors remain pessimistic
House prices dropped and activity remained flat in July as the property market continued to stall, according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.
House prices edged lower in July as the property market continued to stall, according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics).
Some 22% more surveyors reported that prices fell rather than rose in July. Prices have remained negative now for over a year.
With prices continuing to slip, people are unwilling to sell at reduced prices, Rics said. The average number of sales per surveyor dropped to 14.2 – the lowest level since June 2009. Surveyors also reported less houses coming onto the market, while interest from new buyers similarly dipped.
London however continued to buck the national trend as the only region to report price rises. The capital also reported the strongest level of new buyer enquiries.
Ian Perry, spokesperson for Rics, said: ‘While the holiday season appears to have had some impact on the market, the continual problem of inaccessible mortgage finance is still preventing first time buyers from accessing the market’.
Chris Gardner of mortgage website Obligo.co.uk, meanwhile said: 'A flat market is no surprise given the embattled consumer and still weak demand. In fact, flat could even be construed as a positive given the state of the domestic and global economy'.
'London remains resilient and there will always be other sought-after areas outside the capital that perform but overall the picture has to be of a market that is slowly falling further into the red,' he added.
Looking ahead, Rics warned that pessimism still surrounds future house price expectations with 13% more surveyors predicting prices will continue to fall rather than rise over the next three months. Sales expectations however are rather more upbeat, with 15% more surveyors predicting sales to rise.
Reports earlier this month from Hometrack and Rightmove also claim house prices fell in July, and both warned prices will continue to fall in the coming months. Halifax and Nationwide however both reported a small rise in prices, though expect prices to remain flat for the rest of the year.
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by Gavin Lumsden on Mar 07, 2014 at 18:53