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-MNI: UK RICS Feb-March Price Balance 0; March Agreed Sales Balance -17%
By Jai Lakhani
LONDON (MNI) - A survey of UK property surveyors published Thursday showed
housing demand continue to deteriorate alongside supply, leading to an unchanged
price balance once more.
The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) January through March
price balance was zero, the joint lowest return for this indicator since
The March RICS New Buyer enquiries measure, which tends to be a good
front-runner for Bank of England mortgage approvals, fell for a twelfth
consecutive month with 17% more respondents seeing a fall rather than rise over
the month in a trend dating back to March 2017.
Demand is expected to remain weak due to not only a lack of affordability
but a lack of new instructions coming onto the market which fell for the seventh
consecutive month coming in at -17%.
"The latest RICS results provide little encouragement that the drop in
housing market activity is likely to be reversed anytime soon." the RICS release
The near term outlook remained flat and the three month price expectations
balance stuck in neutral territory (balances between -5% and +5%) in every month
since November last year.
As a result, the net agreed sales balance (which leads official transaction
data), came in at -20%.
Falling demand has been directly offsetting falling supply.
The headline March RICS Price Balance reading of zero was the tenth month
in a row that it was between 0 and +9%. However, 17% of contributors expect a
pick up in sales over the next year at the national level with a net balance of
47% anticipating prices to be higher in the next twelve months.
The RICS survey is a leading housing market indicator as it captures
initial trends in both buyer demand and supply of houses coming onto the market.
--MNI London Bureau; +44 203 865 3828; email: firstname.lastname@example.org
--MNI London Bureau; tel: +44 203-586-2223; email: email@example.com