London’s housing woes continue as buyer demand has fallen for the eleventh straight month, according to a new UK residential survey by RICS. The research shows that interest from London buyers waned once again in March, with 25 per cent of respondents seeing demand fall away.
The survey also indicated that sales in the capital continued to slide, with 20 percent of respondents reporting a decline in transactions, a negative trend that stretches back to March 2017. However, 17 per cent of contributors anticipate an increase in sales over the next few years across the country.
“The latest RICS results provide little encouragement that the drop in housing market activity is likely to be reversed anytime soon,” said Simon Rubinsohn, chief economist at RICS. ”Apart from the implications this has for the market itself, it also has the potential to impact the wider economy contributing to a softer trend in household spending. The downshift in sales for the time being continues to be more visible in London and the south east”.
Respondents in the south east, east Anglia and the north east, also reported prices to be falling but to a lesser extent than in London. Meanwhile, prices continue to rise across all other parts of the UK, with Northern Ireland, Wales and the east midlands seeing the strongest readings.
Brian Murphy, head of lending for the Mortgage Advice Bureau said: “What seems to be apparent from this latest commentary is that the flat outlook overall masks a number of factors which are going on ‘under the bonnet’ and are contributing to a somewhat mixed and complex picture, with both values and activity levels continuing to become more diverged on a regional basis.”
The RICS survey also showed that 55 per cent of respondents in London reported a rise in the number of properties being withdrawn from the sale market compared with this time last year.