The RICS UK housing market survey shows that, whilst sales fell, expectations have drastically improved
Whilst the average number of transactions per surveyor fell further in July as a lack of mortgage finance continued to weigh heavily on the market, sales expectations have improved.
The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors' (RICS) UK housing market survey published today, 12 August, showed that expectations have improved due to sellers beginning to offer more realistic asking prices.
Demand remains weak with the balance of surveyors reporting new buyer enquiries still at a low ebb. Last month, new buyer enquiries improved again with 27% more chartered surveyors reporting a fall than a rise compared to 35% in June and 50% in May.
In June, surveyors reported that ‘predatory buyers' were bargain hunting for property. This month, surveyors report that ‘realism' has returned to the market with many sellers dropping asking prices to more realistic levels.
Sales expectations in some regions are becoming more optimistic, especially across the South of England and Yorkshire and Humberside.
New instructions to sell property edged closer to positive territory with 3% more chartered surveyors reporting a fall than a rise, up from 13% in June of this year.
RICS spokesperson Ian Perry said, "The lack of mortgage finance has brought the housing market to a virtual standstill with first-time buyers rapidly becoming an endangered species.
"Going forward, there are signs that sales activity might pick up a little as sellers start to re-evaluate unrealistic asking prices.
"However, the current confused messages from the Government regarding stamp duty risks damaging any returning confidence and may discourage mobility," Mr Perry added.
Director of TheMoveChannel.com, Dan Johnson said: "Perhaps a dose of reality is just what the market needs in order to get moving. As sellers refine their expectations and become more realistic about the prices they look to achieve, more sales will surely follow.
"Provided that the mortgage markets continue to loosen – as they have already started doing – there's a good chance that the property market this autumn might start to drag itself out of the doldrums," Mr Johnson added.
Picture by Jason Cartwright