RICS latest survey shows prices continue to soften

RICS said in its latest survey that the net balance for house prices softened to -47 from -42 in December. A balance measures the difference between the percentage of surveyors seeing rises and those reporting falls.

New buyer enquiries also fell, with a net balance of -47 compared to -40 a month previously, the ninth successive negative reading. The new instructions balance came in at -14.

RICS said the market was still adjusting to the higher borrowing costs, after mortgage rates rocketed in the autumn in response to the government’s disastrous mini-budget.

Surveyors did not forecast any short-term improvement. The near-term price expectations measure was -66, while sales were expected to continuing falling in the coming three months, with a balance of -49, although that was a marginal uptick on December’s -54.

Simon Rubinsohn, chief economist at RICS, said: “Although some respondents noted a little more interest in the housing market as the new year got underway, the overall tone of the feedback still remains subdued, which is not altogether surprising given the jump in mortgage rates since the autumn.

“Prices, meanwhile, are now beginning to reflect the shift in balance between demand and supply.



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