In October, the fall in interest from new buyers has led to a more negative trend for house prices, according to the latest RICS UK Residential Market Survey. While the regional picture remains varied, respondents are also doubtful that UK sales momentum will pick-up over the coming months.
In the October survey, 10% more respondents saw a fall in prices at the headline level. This is the weakest reading since September 2012, and mostly stems from London and the South East, with the price balance in the South East deteriorating during October. East Anglia, the South West and the North East also saw negative price balances, but prices continue to rise in other parts of the UK, with the strongest growth in Northern Ireland and Scotland.
Looking ahead, three month price expectations are also slightly negative at a national level, and the national outlook for the year ahead is now broadly flat.
The weaker trend in prices is being driven by the lack of demand from new buyers, which were in part a result of heightened political uncertainty, ongoing affordability pressures, a modest upward move in interest rates and a lack of fresh stock coming onto the market. In October, 14% more respondents reported a fall in buyer interest, which is the third report in a row in which demand has deteriorated.