Housing market still unsure says FT.

A report in the Financial Times this morning says that signs of improvement in the housing market are offset by evidence that hard-pressed shoppers are continuing to tighten their belts with a closely watched retail survey reporting the weakest reading since May 2009.

The RICS survey for Feb showed that whilst house prices were still falling, they were doing so at a slower pace than in recent months and that house prices in London have increased.  However evidence from London needs careful scrutiny due to the race to beat the increase in stamp duty due next month (see our blog).

26% of surveyors reported that prices were falling rather than rising and in London 17% more surveyors said prices were now rising rather than falling.  However it is important to note that the London effect has boosted the national average and without those figures, 33% more surveyors say prices are falling rather than rising.

Rics said that the survey pointed to other signs of stability despite falling prices. The majority of those reporting house price falls said the reductions were no greater than 2 per cent. Also, new-buyer enquiries halted their six-month slide and were flat on the month, new instructions to buy or sell property picked up, and the average number of properties on surveyors’ books declined slightly.


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