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RICS: No signs of a slowdown in house price growth yet

The limited amount of property stock continues to push up house prices despite cost of living concerns, surveyors claim.

The latest RICS Residential Market Survey for April found new buyer enquires edged up during the month but new instructions remain scarce.

The report found 10% more respondents reported a rise in new buyer enquires rather than a fall, the eighth successive month in which the survey has returned a positive net balance. 

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However, respondents once again reported a subdued trend in listings, with a net balance of -1% of respondents revealing that new listings were falling instead of rising.

Agreed sales were flat having risen in each past two months, returning a net balance of -2% in April.  

RICS warns that this market mood is keeping house prices high.

During the month, 80% of respondents reported an increase in house prices rather than a rise, up from 74% in March.

Looking ahead, contributors are anecdotally preparing themselves for some market adjustments given the recent rate rise and the pressure on household budgets. 

A net balance of 12% of respondents anticipated a rise in sales over the next three months but it is a different story over the long-term.

Looking to the year ahead, the net balance has eased for the fourth consecutive report and now -4% expect sales to fall rather than rise.

When looking to the future of house prices, contributors expected prices to continue to rise, with 62% more anticipating increases rather than falls but this is down from 78% in the February survey.

Tarrant Parsons, economist for RICS, said: “Despite growing macro headwinds in the form of cost-of-living pressures and higher interest rates, the UK residential market continues to see modestly positive trends in new buyer enquiries. 

“For the time being at least, even though there is a lot of caution about the future economic landscape, it seems that limited supply available on the market, coupled with steady demand growth, are still the overriding drivers of house prices.

“As such, there is little evidence at this stage of house price inflation losing much momentum, while expectations for the coming twelve months have only moderated slightly from recent highs.”

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