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Estate agents claim data across a range of surveys plots a clear and consistent set of regional trends, says the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.
Fours key RICS surveys all point at the relative strength of London and the surrounding counties and a weaker picture across much of the rest of the country.
• RICS Housing Market Survey in February 2011 showed London as the only region experiencing positive house price expectations followed by the South East. Yorkshire and Humberside recorded the most depressed house price expectations
• RICS Construction Market Survey for the last three months of 2010 showed that London and the South East were the only regions to record rising total workloads
• RICS Commercial Market Survey for the last three months of 2010 showed that within England, London was the only region with rising rental expectations in the all-property category
• RICS Lettings Survey in the first three months of 2011 showed rental expectations in the private rental market highest in London and the South East
Commenting on the market divergence, RICS economist, Himanshu Wani, said: “Part of the reason for the relative strength of the London property market particularly the prime segment is its enduring appeal to overseas investors. But it also reflects the nature of the economic recovery underway.
“With large public spending cuts forthcoming, the risks is that the existing regional disparity will become even more pronounced unless the government’s ‘growth strategy’ chalks up early successes in boosting activity and jobs away from the capital.”
Overall, property markets in Yorkshire, Humberside and the north east are performing weaker than the rest of the country.
The counties that make up the south east are generally considered to be: London, Essex, Kent, Surrey, Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire, Buckinghamshire plus East and West Sussex.
The latest RICS survey details can be found at: www.rics.org/economics
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