Economy

United Kingdom house price growth weakest in over 4 years: RICS

United Kingdom house price growth weakest in over 4 years: RICS

A housing survey has reported rising property values in Northern Ireland, a day after another study found prices were falling.

Research from the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors' revealed that the national price growth indicator slowed once again last month, with London and the South East pulling down the United Kingdom average.

British house prices rose at their slowest rate in over four years last month, while the number of sales slowed due to a limited supply of property and continued political uncertainty, a property industry body said on Thursday.

Despite turbulent sales activity, the headline price growth gauge for the West Midlands continues to defy the United Kingdom trend with 35% more respondents reporting prices to rise rather than fall over the previous three months.

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That represents the softest reading since early 2013, although the figure disguises big regional variation.

By way of contrast, the price net balance reading for central London remains negative with the pace of decline broadly matching that of the previous three months.

For homes listed at between £500,000 and £1m, a combined 57% of respondents said sales prices had been lower than asking prices. Over the next 12 months, respondents expect prices to rise, though they were the least optimistic in a year. Sixty eight per cent of agents reported that the sales prices of homes worth more than £1m were typically below the asking price, while 37pc of those polled said that property worth less than £500,000 was selling for below the asking price.

The RICS/Ulster Bank study reported a balance of +3% when it came to surveyor expectations of further price rises in the next three months.

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"One reason for this is the recent series of tax changes but this is only part of the story".

"The lack of new build in the wake of the financial crisis is a fundamental factor weighing on (transactions)".

"There is no real indication that the housing market will become materially more affordable anytime soon", RICS chief economist Simon Rubinsohn said.

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