House prices slip in June

<a href="http://www.cityam.com/house-prices";>House prices</a> fell more than expected last month, as worries about the economic outlook deterred homeowners from putting their properties up for sale and buyers remained hesitant, a survey showed Tuesday.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors' seasonally adjusted house price balance inched up to -27 in June from -28 in May, below forecasts for an improvement to -25 and holding close to its lowest level so far this year.

The supply of new properties coming to the market in June fell sharply to a net balance of +1 from +14 in May - the lowest since January.

Enquiries from prospective buyers were flat on the month, although that was a modest improvement from -1 in May and the highest since May 2010.

"The housing market was pretty flat during June. Buyer interest in purchasing property remains relatively low across much of the UK and the volume of new stock coming to the market has slackened," said RICS spokesman Alan Collett.

"With continued uncertainty over the jobs market and the economy, this subdued picture is set to continue," he added.

British house prices have been weakening since the middle of last year, and further falls seem likely given that approvals for home loans are still only half their long-run average.

In a separate study professional services firm PWC said it saw only a 12 per cent chance that real house prices would match their 2007 peak by 2015, and only a 50 per cent chance of prices exceeding 2007 levels by 2020.

The RICS survey showed realtors expected house prices to continue to fall in the coming months, with the price expectations balance remaining unchanged at -27 in June.

Firms were more optimistic about sales levels, however, with a balance of 14 per cent more respondents expecting a rise rather than a fall, the highest since August 2010 and up from 10 percent in May.