‘Subdued’ Market Continues Decline

House prices have fallen across the country over the past month at the fastest rate since June 1995, the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has reported.

According to RICS’s figures, just 6% of surveyors reported a rise in prices during September, compared with 42% reporting a fall. Declines were reported across the country, including Northern England and Wales, which had, until this month, been resisting the slowdown. The only location to show price rises in September was Scotland.

Market activity is also subduing, RICS said, with unsold stock reaching its highest level in almost a year and an 11% drop in sales over the three months to September.

The National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) reported figures that broadly agreed with RICS’s survey, saying that prices fell by 1.6% over September, and that annual inflation fell to 7.95%, its lowest level so far this year.

Richard Hair, President of the NAEA, warned that vendors should price realistically in order to sell their properties: ‘The market is clearly now showing signs of the correction that we have been predicting all year. This month’s reports from the estate agents at the frontline reveal that prices are indeed continuing to fall slightly and buyers are adopting a “wait-and-see” attitude.

‘Nevertheless, there are plenty of new instructions and, providing vendors are realistic in their asking prices, we should see the buyers start to move for these homes once they realise that a crash is a very unlikely prospect,’ said Mr Hair.