North South divide across RICS surveys

Nia Williams

March 22, 2011

The RICS Housing Market Survey, RICS Commercial Market Survey, RICS Lettings Survey and the RICS Construction Market Survey all point to relative strength in London and the South East and a weaker picture across much of the rest of the country.

The RICS Housing Market Survey in February 2011 showed London as the only region experiencing positive house price expectations followed by the South East. Yorkshire & Humberside recorded the most depressed house price expectations.

The RICS Construction Market Survey in Q4 2010 showed that London and the South East were the only regions to record rising total workloads.

The RICS Commercial Market Survey in Q4 2010 showed that within England, London was the only region with rising rental expectations in the all-property category.

The RICS Lettings Survey in Q1 2011 showed rental expectations in the private rental market highest in London and the South East.

Commenting on the divergence in the UK market, RICS economist, Himanshu Wani, said: “Part of the reason for the relative strength of the London property market particularly the prime segment is its enduring appeal to overseas investors.

“But it also reflects the nature of the economic recovery underway. Indeed, with large public spending cuts forthcoming the risk is that the existing regional disparity will become even more pronounced unless the government’s ‘growth strategy’ chalks up early successes in boosting activity and jobs away from the capital.”

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