Monday, 16 July 2018

House sales dip for first time since 2012

THE number of agreed house sales has dipped for the first time since September 2012, but the overall picture shows a return to a less volatile market.

The next three months will see more stable price expectations according to a net balance of nine per cent of surveyors who are now expecting prices to rise, rather than fall — down from 51 per cent at the start of the year.

Significantly, the concern over a potential rise in interest rates could be a contributing factor to the fall in buyer interest and the number of agreed house sales. Members also indicated that Mortgage Market Review (MMR) — and an increasingly acute shortage of conveyancers — is adding between two and four weeks on to the time it takes to complete a transaction.

At a national level, the sales and demand picture was mixed. In London, the South West and the West Midlands, there was a significant dip in new buyer interest, but Scotland and Northern Ireland were noticeable exceptions, where buyer enquiries remain firm, with a net balance of 43 per cent and 52 per cent respectively.

While a lack of supply remains a challenge for the market across the whole of the country, there are some signs in the capital, where this problem has been most chronic, that instructions are now picking up.