Country houses for sale

Interest rates take their toll

The property market is not in fact immune to the higher interest rates, according to RICS latest survey. December?s figures showed the largest monthly price drop since September 2004 with the number of new buyer enquiries also falling. Nevertheless RICS? survey still showed a solid pace of growth and it seems there is a chance that the figures could bounce back in January.

?It is obviously possible that buyer enquiries will rebound next month,? commented property economist Kelvin Davidson, ?although January?s surprise rate rise may well prevent that. Even so, there is little sign of an imminent collapse.?

Property experts believe the RICS figures show the first meaningful evidence of the negative impact of higher interest rates. ?We believe that these negative effects will become gradually clearer in the data as the year progresses, with market activity levels and price pressures likely to weaken substantially over 2007,? said Mr Davidson.