RICS reveals unsold property stock increase despite further price falls

A massive 68% more chartered surveyors reported a fall in new buyer enquiries in April, new data from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors reveals. This compares to 51% in January.

The ratio of completed sales compared with unsold property stock also fell to 21.1, though it remains well above the 11.4 low seen in the early 1990s.

A RICS spokesman says: “Although most surveyors are now seeing price declines, the extent of the fall is at this stage quite modest. The real issue is the collapse in the number of housing transactions. This has very real implications, not just for the property industry, but also the high street and the wider economy.”

RICS attributes the decline in new buyer enquiries to mortgage funding constraints, an issue, which it says is being exacerbated by lenders’ failure to pass on interest rate cuts to the high street.

As for house prices, the RICS UK Housing Market Survey, which was published on Tuesday, reveals that 95.1% more chartered surveyors reported a fall than a rise in house prices, up from 79.4% in March. Chartered surveyors in the North, North West and East Anglia all reported falling house prices.

But Martin Cunningham, director of Estate Agency at Howards, which covers Norfolk and North Suffolk, says: “I’m delighted to hear that. It means that both my colleagues and those of our competitors are doing their jobs and getting on the phone and getting prices down. “I welcome agents’ efforts in bringing the market place back to affordable levels.”

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