Number of new house buyers grew only marginally in December
January 20, 2017: A gauge of UK house prices fell for the first time in five months in December as the supply of properties for sale remained weak and values slumped in London.
The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) said its index declined to 24 from 29 in November, indicating that a smaller majority of respondents saw price gains. Predicted sales over the next three months also slowed, with only 4 percent more respondents anticipating an increase. However, the year-ahead sales outlook rose slightly.
“A familiar story relating to supply continues to drive both the sales and lettings markets, impacting on activity, prices and rents,” said Simon Rubinsohn, chief economist, RICS. “The latest RICS survey provides further evidence that both price and rent pressures are continuing to spread from the more highly valued to more modestly valued parts of the market, for good or ill.”
Supporting the predicted slow start to 2017, the survey showed that the number of new house buyers rose only marginally in December following much stronger figures for the previous four months.
According to the report, house prices are expected to rise in 2017 with the exception of London where expectations remain relatively subdued.
London was the only area to experience a drop in prices while the North West of England had the strongest price growth.