12 Mar, 2008
whopping 64% more chartered surveyors reported a fall in house
prices to near historic levels in February, reveals the Royal
Institution of Chartered Surveyors.
It compares with 54.7% in January and 64.5% in June 1990.
Its UK housing market survey, published today, also reveals that
stock piles rose to levels not seen for a decade.
Meanwhile, the RICS house price balance dropped for the seventh
successive month, signalling more than half a year of negative
But the net balance of surveyors in Scotland reporting price rises
surged from 7% to 25% - a significant jump in the current economic
climate, indicating that Scotland still remains the most buoyant
market in the UK.
RICS data also reveals a weakening in enquiries, with 37% more
chartered surveyors reporting a fall in new buyer enquiries, down
from 35% in January.
The institute attributes the fall to prospective buyers'
difficulty in raising the necessary finance to precipitate a move.
It also suggests that many buyers are exercising caution in light
of current economic uncertainty.
It adds that price falls are being driven by weak demand rather
than an influx of new supply as the balance of surveyors reporting
new instructions to sell property remained in negative territory.
And while employment conditions remain strong, home owners are
under little pressure to sell.
The stock of unsold property on surveyors' books jumped by more
than 8.5% in February - the fifth successive monthly increase in
excess of 8%.
Currently, the average level of unsold property per surveyor stands
at 92 - the highest level since October 1998 when the average
figure per surveyor was 93.
As a result, the ratio of completed sales compared to the stock of
unsold property on the market fell to 26.5% - the lowest number
since September 1996.
A spokesman for RICS says:"While there is very little new
supply coming onto the market, it is unlikely that there will be
significant price drops in the short term but the build up of
unsold stocks will encourage buyers to negotiate lower asking