Property surveyors are predicting a ‘flat summer’ with the UK housing market continuing to see a decline in activity.
According to members of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), the number of new housing inquires decline in April, as did the number of houses sold.
RICS also said that the market’s momentum was continuing to halt, with one cited reason being the uncertainty caused by the upcoming general election.
The Halifax, earlier this week, said that the average price of a UK home had dropped over the last three months, with the market suffering its first quarterly drop in almost five years.
The RICS survey on the other hand, says that the situation is much more nuanced than this, as there is a disparity in house price changes in varying regions.
According to the survey, the value of properties in London had been falling for over a year and there had been no increases in either north-east England or East Anglia; in the north-west however, prices were continuing to rise.
Estate agents have such a small number of properties on their books that they are only slightly above the record low, and surveyors seem to be expecting the low levels of sales to continue, with only 3 per cent of those surveyed expecting sales to grow.
“Although the picture clearly does vary across the country, the bulk of the feedback we are receiving points to a fairly flat summer for both activity and prices,” said Simon Rubinsohn, chief economist at RICS.
“Lack of stock on the market remains a key challenge for the sector.”
He also says that changes to the tax paid by buy-to-let investors were likely to ensure that rent prices will continue to rise at a faster rather than house prices.