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Housing sales continue to stall while rental market picks up steam

The UK housing market continues to weaken, with last month bringing another decrease in buyer demand and agreed sales, alongside a halt in house price growth, according to the October 2022 RICS Residential Market Survey.

New buyer enquiries fell for a sixth successive month in the sales market, as the latest headline net balance weakened further to -55% in October (from -36% last time). Moreover, the survey feedback on buyer demand is negative across all parts of the UK, the second month running where this has been the case.

In keeping with the general pattern of a weakening market, the average time to complete a sale from its initial listing has edged upwards, now taking close to 18 weeks. At this point last year, the average completion time was closer to 16 weeks, said RICS.

Simon Rubinsohn, chief economist at RICS, commented: “The latest feedback to the RICS survey provides further evidence of buyer caution in the face of the sharp rise in mortgage costs. However, the employment picture remains critical to the medium-term outlook and for the time being, that remains solid.”

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