Housing market cools down yet prices stay high

 
Julian Harris
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THE FEVER in the UK housing market appears to have eased last month, according to a widely-regarded survey published this morning.

The number of new buyer enquiries in February rose at the slowest rate since March last year, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) found.

Yet supply remains extremely tight in the market, with new instructions to vendors falling at the sharpest rate since 2012 – keeping prices elevated.

“The cost of a home has now risen across the country for eleven consecutive months,” the report said, adding that respondents to the survey expect prices to keep growing into the summer.

“The ongoing issue that we are facing is the lack of homes coming onto the market,” said RICS’ chief economist Simon Rubinsohn. “It is true that more are being built, but supply is simply not enough properties to satisfy demand. As a result, prices are likely to continue to move higher making it ever harder for people to take an initial step foot onto the property ladder.”

House prices in London and the south east are expected to rise 8.8 per cent and eight per cent a year respectively for the next five years.