British surveyors report slowing house price growth

Housing market sees 'sustained deterioration' in activity as price growth stalls

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors said Thursday that headline price growth across the United Kingdom slid to 1% from 7% in June, marking the softest reading since early 2013.

For now at least, the expectations of the country's surveyors suggest that this subdued backdrop is unlikely to change significantly.

Some 28% more surveyors said they expected higher house prices over the next 12 months, although this is the least positive reading since the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union past year. Belfast's average house price was £154,980.

House price growth was nearly flat in July due to political uncertainty, lack of housing stock and tax changes, according to a sentiment survey of surveyors.

This month, sales activity continues to lack momentum, with the net balance readings for buyer enquiries and agreed sales remaining firmly negative, at -14% and -17%, respectively.

More worryingly, the survey forecast that this trend was likely to continue in the coming months as further instability surrounds the political landscape.

Some 68 per cent of respondents said the sales prices agreed on homes valued at over £1m were below asking price, with 33 per cent saying the amounts agreed were up to five per cent below what had been asked, while 26 per cent said the difference was between five and 10 per cent.

That figure was 57% for homes listed between £500,000 and £1m, while 37% of surveyors said homes listed at less than £500,000 had been sold below their original asking price.

Meanwhile, landlord instructions declined, with 8% more surveyors noting a drop (rather than a rise) in listings. Over the next 12 months, rents are projected to increase by a little under 2% across the UK.

Contributors to the July survey were asked whether sales were coming in at the asking price.

Mr Dickey said: "Today the key challenge for the market appears to be supply, along with some economic and political uncertainty".

"The bridging sector in particular has been flourishing in recent months, as those looking to capitalise on quick sales can do so with the flexibility and speed that this unique type of financing offers, and we expect this trend to continue".

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