House Prices Lowest In 16 Months

A new survey from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors indicates that House prices in England and Wales experienced their largest fall in September since May 2009.

The RICS house price index dropped to -36 in the three months to September from -32 in the three months to August, a drop that the RICS has blamed on supply pressures as homeowners’ rush to sell before public spending cuts kick in next year.

A main indicatior of this is that the new instructions balance went up to +22 from +12, the eighth consecutive positive reading, while the balance for new buyer inquiries remained negative at -2.

“The fresh influx of property to the market combined with a lack of buyers remains the key problem affecting the sector,” said RICS spokesperson Ian Perry.

UK house prices dropped by around 20% between the end of 2007 and early 2009 before regaining around half their losses over the following 12 months. Since early this summer there has been renewed weakness, with mortgage approvals and consumer confidence both declining.

Halifax reported the sharpest drop in house prices on record in September, while rival lender Nationwide has reported price falls in two of the last three months.

The survey showed surveyors were braced for further losses. The price expectations balance slipped to -41 from -38, a fourth month of decline.

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