Market momentum might be fading a little, if the latest Royal Institute of Chartered Surveryors (RICS) report is anything to go by. RICS?s figures paint a slightly weaker picture than at the beginning of the year, supporting economists? views that price pressures will ease over the remainder of the year. ?The market now seems to be merely holding up rather than gathering momentum,? says Kelvin Davidson from Capital Economics.
This having been said, there were some positive results. The RICS survey shows that the balance of surveyors reporting higher prices rose in March and ratios of sales to unsold stock have also increased. The Scottish House Price Monitor draws similar conclusions. House prices in Scotland have risen by 13.9% on an annual basis with price rises in all four major cities. ?The Scottish housing market continues to display price rises greater than the rest of the UK,? says Lloyds TSB Scotland who composes the Monitor.
But that?s not to say that prices are stagnant in England; according to RICS house prices have risen every month since November. However, for the first time in nine months the RICS survey shows a decrease in newly agreed sales. But economists are not getting too anxious ? concluding that a quick succession of Easter and Bank Holiday could account for this. New buyer enquiries continued to rise in March but according to RICS, new sales instructions outstripped the rise in new buyer enquiries.
Higher house prices in London have been have been driving up regional prices, RICS suggests. But price pressures are easing in the regions ? with subdued prices in the Midlands, Wales and East Anglia.