RICS: Sales fall further with little sign of respite (UK)

The average number of transactions per surveyor fell further in August as a lack of mortgage finance continued to stifle the ability of buyers to access the market says RICS' UK housing market survey published 9 September 2008.

The RICS house price balance improved slightly for the fourth consecutive month but still remains at a significantly low level. 81.0% more Chartered Surveyors reported a fall than a rise in house prices, a decrease from 83.1% in July. The continued inability of many to secure mortgage finance is reflected in the collapse in transactions. The average number of transactions per surveyor (over the last three months) is now at 12.7, the lowest figure since the survey began with some Chartered Surveyor estate agents in a number of regions reporting less than 1 sale per week.

Demand remained weak in August. The balance of surveyors reporting new buyer enquiries fell slightly with 28 percent more Chartered Surveyors seeing a fall than a rise compared to 27% in July. In June and July, surveyors reported that many sellers had dropped asking prices to more realistic levels and that predatory buyers were waiting to pounce on bargains, but the traditionally weak month of August has seen this interest stagnate.

New instructions to sell property edged closer to positive territory with 2 percent more Chartered Surveyors reporting a fall than a rise, up from 3% in June. The latest repossession figures still remain well below the levels seen in the early 1990's and the Government's rescue package may have alleviate some of the trauma associated with this process.

Source: RICS

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