Brakes go on the housing market as demand stalls


Rising supply and stabilising demand are applying the brakes to the housing market.

The RICS this recently said that new instructions have increased “very modestly” for two months across the country, which it described as “broadly resilient”.

However, the London market is going into reverse, with inquiries and sales falling and instructions rising sharply.

The RICS also says in its survey that affordability is a problem for buyers and not just in London.

There were just 301 contributors to this morning’s RICS survey, but some of the comments from them are very interesting.

According to Ben Hudson, of Hudson Moody in York: “The Bank of England and government in their panic to put out the flames of an overheating housing market in London have thrown rather too much water on the fire and very nearly snuffed out a recovery in the rest of the country.”

In Nottinghamshire, David Hammond said: “More sales activity but this is not translating into price increases. New mortgage criteria are causing delays and defaults on sales.”

Another survey – from, which takes its data from almost all UK portals and agents’ websites – found house prices edged up just 0.1% last month but fell in the south-east, south-west, East Anglia and Yorkshire.

According to Home, price rises were modest in other regions at 0.2% or less, apart from in the east midlands where they rose 0.5%.

Supply of property for sale rose last month in all regions apart from East Anglia and the south-west.

Across Greater London, supply was up 39% compared with a year ago.

Despite the uptick in supply, Home says that the total number of properties currently for sale is “much less” than for most of the last seven years.

Home director Doug Shephard said: “Buyer demand is certainly lower than it was before the financial crisis of 2007, but supply remains very low indeed.”

He said supply has increased by only 6% in the last 12 months across the UK as a whole.

He said that such a modest increase in supply would be “hardly likely to cause a crash” but “will help tame price rises”.

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