National house prices dipped slightly in April this year, with both London and the South East showing a continuing fall according to the RICS Residential Market Survey in April 2018. The Survey shows that both new buyer enquiries and agreed sales stabilised following the recent decline seen. The National price indicator turned slightly negative in April, however nearly all areas of the UK show a positive 12-month price expectation.
A Dip in House Prices
After previous months of declines in sales and new buyer interest it seems that they are now holding steady. The National RICS price balance slipped to -8% which, although figures only show a slight decline, is the lowest figure since the end of 2012.
The National figures are largely affected by the housing market in London, but regional prices are showing a mixed range. House prices were seen to fall in London, the South East and the South West, the latter of which has seen a fall for the first time since May 2013. If you look at Scotland and Northern Ireland the house prices here continue to rise.
Looking ahead the outlook for house prices remains broadly level, but 31% of respondents expect house prices to be higher in 12 months time. With the strongest rises to be seen in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
New Buyer Enquires
New buyer enquiries were pretty much unchanged during April, with the last four months showing a sharp decline, and thirteen months since a positive trend. Agreed sales also remained steady over the month of April, with a varied regional picture the figure change throughout the country.
House sales going forward point towards a flat picture, although there is a marginally positive outlook for national house sales in the next 12 months. New instructions continued to decline, with average Estate Agents stock levels remaining the same.
In the rental market tenant demand for the three months in the lead up to April were at a stagnant level. This may be down to a shortage of new landlord instructions becoming available on the rental market. This figure has remained negative for an eighth successive quarter, however there is a small expectation for growth in the rental market looking forward.
Usually the housing market sees an increase in activity at this time of year, but this survey does not quite reflect this trend. However, if you look at the underlying trend then the level of transactions remain mostly flat.
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