The July 2017 RICS UK Residential Market Survey results show price growth coming to a standstill at the national level, although regional patterns once again display a mixed picture. Alongside this, sales activity continues to lack momentum, with the net balance readings for new buyer enquiries and agreed sales remaining slightly negative. For the time being at least, the expectations series suggest this subdued backdrop is unlikely to change significantly.
The headline price growth gauge slipped from +7% to +1% (suggesting prices were unchanged over the period), representing the softest reading since early 2013. Nevertheless, the national figure conceals diverging trends across parts of the UK. Indeed, house prices remain quite firmly on an upward trend in some areas, led by Northern Ireland, the West Midlands and the South West. By way of contrast, prices continue to fall in London*, with the pace of decline broadly matching that of the previous three months. At the same time, the price balance for the South East of England fell further into negative territory, posting the weakest reading for this part of the country since 2011.
Looking ahead, near term price expectations continue to signal a flat trend over the coming three months at the headline level. Over the next twelve months, a net balance of +28% of respondents anticipate an increase in prices, albeit this was the least positive reading since last July. Again, London continues to exhibit the most cautious twelve month projections relative to all other parts of the UK.
Source : RICS