Housing demand in London falls for 11th consecutive month

Written by Oliver Wade
12/04/2018

London’s housing crisis has continued as buyer demand falls for the 11th consecutive month, according to a new UK residential survey by the Royal Institution for Chartered Surveyors (Rics).

The research revealed that interest from London buyers decreased again in March, with 25% of respondents seeing demand slip away. The survey further indicated that sales in the capital continued to decline, with 20% of respondents reporting a fall in transactions, a negative trend that has been continuous since March 2017.

However, 17% of contributors anticipate an increase in sales over the next year across the UK.

Rics chief economist Simon Rubinsohn commented: “The latest Rics results provide little encouragement that the drop in housing market activity is likely to be reversed anytime soon.

“Apart from the implications this has for the market itself, it also has the potential to impact the wider economy contributing to a softer trend in household spending.”

Respondents in the South East, East Anglia, and the North East also reported falling prices, but not to the same extent as those seen in London. Despite this, many parts of the UK including Northern Ireland, Wales and the East Midlands are experiencing a growth in property prices.

Mortgage Advice Bureau head of lending Brian Murphy said: “What seems to be apparent from this latest commentary is that the flat outlook overall masks a number of factors which are going on ‘under the bonnet’ and are contributing to a somewhat mixed and complex picture, with both values and activity levels continuing to become more diverged on a regional basis.”

Furthermore, the survey highlighted that 55% of respondents in London reported a rise in the number of properties being withdrawn from the sale market compared to this time last year. The three-month outlook in London remains subdued, as 23% of respondents are expecting property prices to fall rather than rise.

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