RICS survey is bleakest for 30 years

Confidence in the UK housing market plunged to its lowest level for 30 years in Q1, a survey from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors shows.

The latest RICS UK Housing Market Survey, published today, shows that 78.5% more surveyors reported a fall than a rise in house prices in the three months to March.

This was the bleakest result since RICS started the survey in 1978.

But RICS says a lack of new supply is still preventing significant price falls, despite rising stock levels.

The survey, however, says the regional picture is even more depressed.

In the East Midlands 89% more chartered surveyors reported a fall than a rise in house prices and a net 86% reported falls in East Anglia.

Demand continued to weaken as new buyers’ enquiries fell further.

The survey shows 49% more chartered surveyors reported a fall than a rise in new buyer enquiries, up from 39% in January.

RICS says it is clear that price falls are being driven by the inability of many to secure finance rather than an influx of supply into the market.

Jeremy Leaf, spokesman for RICS, says: “Sentiment is at a very low ebb and will continue to remain depressed while the economy suffers from this unique liquidity blight.

“The slowdown in prices is directly attributable to a lack of available finance which has hit demand. However, until new supply increases dramatically, a significant crash remains unlikely.”