As the new government beds in, the July 2019 RICS Residential Market Survey results show some of the improvement seen in near term expectations for sales and prices partially reversed.
“The latest RICS results will provide little comfort for the market with all the key indicators pretty much flatlining.” Says Simon Rubinsohn, Chief Economist for the RICS.
While buyers seem to be picking up, newly agreed sales have in fact slipped. Indeed, the national net balance slipped to -6%, from +3% in June. Some areas did see a stronger sales trend, in a slightly mixed regional picture, with respondents across the North East and the West Midlands in particular reporting a reasonably solid pick-up during July.
Looking at the picture ahead, near term predicted sales are flat, with a net balance of -2% (down from +6% in June). What’s more, sentiment is now only modestly positive regarding the twelve month outlook, at the national level. Again, while new buyer enquiries are picking up slightly, new instructions to sell were unchanged for the second successive report. This follows a string of eleven consecutive monthly declines in fresh listings. It seems there is little prospect of a sustained rise in supply coming onto the market in the immediate future.
Price wise, the headline price indicator pulled back into negative territory in July, with the national net balance falling to -9% (having edged up to -1% in June). Regionally, prices were seen to be rising at a solid pace in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. But, prices continue to fall in London, the South East and East Anglia.
Back at the national level, feedback from contributors is still suggesting that higher priced tiers of the market are facing a more challenging environment. 69% of respondents note that, for properties marketed at over £1m, sales prices are coming in below asking prices (up from 66% in April). However, for properties listed at up to £500k and below, 59% of survey participants report sales prices have been at least level with asking (albeit this is slightly down on 62% three months ago). When it comes to the outlook for prices, near term expectations deteriorated over the month, but at the twelve month horizon, projections remain marginally positive in net balance terms.
Here is the link to the RICS July 19 residential market survey>