House price growth coming to a standstill, say surveyors


House price increase is lagging to a standstill, with London and the South East putting on the brakes, according to assessors.

A net balance of 1% of assessors published prices rising rather than declining in July, a fall from 7% in June, according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. July was the lowest since March 2013.

Top-end houses are likely to have had money stripped off the original asking value before being up for purchase.

Over the UK, there are diverging trends. Home prices stay “quite firmly on an upward trend” in several cities, led by the West Midlands, the South West, and Northern Ireland, Rics announced.

By contrast, home prices are falling in London. The South East also had a negative price reading, which was the lowest for the city since 2011.

The July study also discovered that, over the past two months, there had been a distinct gap between the initial asking price and the acknowledged selling price when it came to houses at the top end of the market.

For houses being sold at more than £1 million, more than two-thirds or 68 percent of those polled described sale prices coming at below-asking prices.

For houses listed within £500,000 and £1 million, 57% had seen sale prices cheaper than asking prices.

Just over a 37% percent said houses sold at less than £500,000 were marketed for less than their initial asking value.

Sales pursuit continues to lack force and expectations for the future months to come are “virtually flat,” Rics stated.

The chief economist at Rics, Simon Rubinsohn, said recent tax shifts and a lack of new houses after the financial crunch are showing on the market.

He said: “Sales activity in the housing market has been slipping in the recent months and the most worrying aspect of the latest survey is the suggestion that this could continue for some time to come.

“The flatter trend in price growth is arguably a silver lining, but there is no real indication that the housing market will become materially more affordable any time soon.”