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Market still ‘downbeat’ despite optimism about future sales, says RICS

The housing market remains “downbeat” with indicators on demands, sales, new listings and prices all remaining in negative territory, say surveyors.

The latest residential market survey by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) shows a score of -29% for surveyors reporting a fall in demand in March, barely changed on the -30% recorded for February. A minus score means there was a higher proportion of surveyors reporting a fall than a rise.

Buyer demand remains weaker across the UK, with virtually all regions and the four nations posting a negative reading in the latest returns, RICS says. Agreed sales slipped by 31% in March, and the number of fresh listings coming onto the market falling fell slightly by 6%.

Alongside this, house prices continue to dip, with the most significant declines in prices in East Anglia, the South East, the West Midlands and London. Price expectations are now broadly flat in London, while Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales envisage a rise in house prices over the next year.

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