House prices continue to decline in central London, grow in regions

Gladys Abbott
September 14, 2017

For the third month in a row estate agents in the South East were more likely to report a fall than a rise in prices, and the survey said prices in the capital were expected to remain low. The outlook for the city is also subdued, with prime central London the only area in which prices expectations are negative over the next 12 months.

The house price balance rose to +6.0 in August from +1.0 in July.

The housing market in Northern Ireland remained buoyant in August reflecting a general confidence in the economy according to new figures from the sector.

The balance also fell further into negative territory in the South East of England.

In a closely-watched survey of estate agents' sentiments by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), some 56 per cent more respondents said they had observed a fall in house prices in the capital in August - the highest negative result since 2008.

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Different parts of Northern Ireland are more buoyant than others and there are variations between different property types and levels of the market.

It said the level of house sales has not seen any growth since November 2016. As a result, the number of properties listed for sale on estate agents' books across the United Kingdom are near an all time low - although London estate agents have seen a rise in number.

Brian Murphy, head of lending at the Mortgage Advice Bureau (MAB), said: "The mixed picture that we've seen emerging over the last few months appears to be continuing, with London and the South East seeing prices coming off the boil - some may say correcting to a more reasonable level - with other regions, such as the North West and South West, still seeing strong increases".

Simon Rubinsohn, RICS chief economist, said "The latest results continue to suggest that the greatest pressure on both prices and activity continues to be felt in prime central London market".

However, the survey also reports anecdotal evidence suggesting different levels of sctivity based on price and favouring properties below £250,000.

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