Sales decline as stock dwindles

Ryan Bembridge

May 11, 2017

Property sales dropped in April as the lack of available supply continued to bite, the RICS UK Residential Market Survey suggests.

In April new instructions dropped for the 14th month in a row, with 15% more RICS members seeing them fall.

RICS said buyers are suffering from a lack of choice, in part due to the uncertainty of the early General Election combined with the stamp duty changes.

Residential market continues to lack momentum

Simon Rubinsohn, RICS chief economist, said: “Although the picture clearly does vary across the country, the bulk of the feedback we are receiving points to a fairly flat summer for both activity and prices.

“Lack of stock on the market remains a key challenge for the sector with recent and forthcoming tax changes having a material impact on transaction levels, particularly at higher price points. Uncertainty relating to the forthcoming general election is also highlighted by some respondents as a reason for inertia.

“It is noticeable in the April report that the amount of new rental instructions coming through to agents is continuing to edge lower which is not altogether surprising given the changing landscape for buy to let investors.

“One consequence of this is that rents are expected to continue rising not just in the near term but also further out and at a faster pace than house prices.”

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