Positive outlook predicted after house price fall

Ramesh Sharma

June 1, 2004

The RICS monthly housing survey revealed a gradual rise in demand for property with new buyer enquiries up for the fourth consecutive month.

21 per cent of those questioned told of a fall in house prices for

September, down from 25 per cent in August, with a modest increase in buyer interest linked to the August Base Rate cut. The survey further showed the continuation of a ‘buyers’ market’ with high levels of unsold property giving buyers room to negotiate and choose.

Increasing demand for property and industry belief that a further interest rate cut is on its way has also helped to stabilise the market, RICS revealed.

Ian Perry, RICS housing spokes-person, confirmed the recent report suggested a confident future for the market.

“While sellers asking for unrealistic prices are still struggling to find potential buyers, they are beginning to feel more confident as fears of a sharp fall in house prices have largely dissipated. The amount of new property coming onto the market fell in September for the first time in one and a half years,” he said.

He added that an upturn in demand and the improved outlook on interest rates has led surveyors to predict house price rises for the first time since early 2004, though these are expected to be small. “RICS expects the recovery in activity to be sustained due to continued expansion in employment, which bodes well for a stable housing market.”

The RICS survey showed a rise in house prices in Scotland while prices in London remained static. A slowdown of price falls took place in East Anglia and the North with a further fall in prices in the South East and Wales.”

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