House prices show biggest fall in a year

City A.M. Reporter
British <a href="/house-prices">house prices</a> experienced their most widespread falls for a year in the three months to July, and surveyors do not expect the outlook to improve over the next 12 months, a survey by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) showed today.

The figures, which also show sellers hanging back, reinforce a generally gloomy picture of the British economy, which suffered its biggest fall in output for three years in the three months to June. Mortgage lender Nationwide reported the biggest drop in house prices for nearly three years earlier in the month.

RICS said that its July property price balance fell to -24 from -22 in June, a slightly bigger drop than the decline to -23 forecast by polled economists.

This means that the difference between the percentage of surveyors reporting price falls, and those reporting price rises, was 24 percentage points.

Some 61 per cent of surveyors reported no change to prices in the three months to July, and of those surveyors who did report falls, about three quarters said prices had dropped by less than two per cent.

"Fewer sellers are putting their homes up for sale and the ongoing problem of accessing affordable finance is not helping. If vendors want to sell their homes quickly, they will have to be realistic in their price expectations," said Peter Bolton King, RICS' global director for residential property.