The RICS Housing Market Survey for February 2011 has highlighted four key points:
– Headline net price balance whilst improved remains negative
– New enquiries stabilised following a fall during the second half of 2010
– Activity levels have stabilised
– London is bucking the trend as the only region to record rising house prices
Although the headline net price balance shows that prices fell in February the rate at which they have fallen is slower than the previous month, with the majority of respondents recording price falls in the 0 — 2 per cent range. More than half of all surveyors, however, reported unchanged prices.
Following a fall for six consecutive months new buyer enquiries remained mostly unchanged while new instructions rose slightly, a net balance of +5, up from -3.
Newly agreed sales show a similar trend, with no change in February after falling for four months.
While sales are seemingly being agreed the government’s cuts and, for many, the very real threat of losing their job will mean that recovery could be a long way off yet. Many first time buyers will be worrying about interest rates rising and will more than likely consider that “staying put” is their best option at the moment. On the other hand potential sellers may decide that selling their property before any interest rate rise is announced will be their best option. This could lead to an influx of properties on the market and how much will this affect property prices?
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