13:55 PM, 8th May 2012, About 10 years ago 3
House price confidence is dropping away as prices fall and buyers melt away, according to estate agents.
One in five estate agents reported drops in April as hopes for future price rises hit the lowest level this year, and some expect property values to keep falling says the latest housing market survey by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.
Estate agents describe the market as ‘flat’ with little change in the low number of new properties coming to the market or inquiries from new buyers.
RICS suggests the market has run out of steam as the stamp duty holiday ended for first time buyers at the end of March.
Only estate agents in London confirmed rising prices – but at the slowest rate for almost a year.
The West Midlands and Wales had the steepest price drops.
“With the recent surge in activity brought on by March’s stamp duty holiday coming to an end, it is unsurprising to see that prices across much of the country are continuing to fall,” said Peter Bolton King, of RICS.
“Renewed concerns over the economy and talk of a double dip recession dominating the headlines in recent weeks may well have served to undermine consumer confidence. What’s more, the continuing lack of affordable mortgage finance is still hindering many first time buyers who cannot afford to get a foot on the property ladder.”
Ajay Jagota of KIS Lettings believes this to be bad news for the North.
“Landlords in the North East may need to start thinking about reducing rents to prevent long void periods. They need consider the loss they will suffer in the long term – for example reducing a £700 tenancy to £650 or even £600 is going to be better than the property standing empty for two or three months.”
“Landlords need to work smart, or employ a reputable letting agent to work smart for them, in order to ensure their property is seen by potential tenants and is given the best possible sell.”
A separate survey by The AA suggests that 37% of first time buyers who have bought a home since 2008 want to own a detached house – the highest level since the 1970s.
Tom Stringer of The AA said: “New drivers love their first car but often aspire to drive a bigger, better, more expensive model. The same appears to be the case with houses.
“This research has revealed that the troubles in the housing market over the last three years have not dented the aspirations of recent first time buyers. They are more positive about their long term prospects than those entering the market during the past 30 years – something which could bode well for recovery in the market.”
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