"House prices are stagnant"
Little has changed in the stagnant housing market over recent weeks, according to the latest market and price surveys.
The latest UK house price statistics from the government show house prices sliding back 1.3% over the year to the end of August.
The average UK house price was £208,476, says the Communities and Local Government Department.
Despite the annual fall, prices barely moved over the summer – just 0.2% down in the quarter ending August 31.
Meanwhile, some estate agents (5%) reported fewer homes for sale in September, a housing market survey by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors found.
Estate agents claimed sellers had little confidence in the market and economic worries mean many have doubts about putting their properties up for sale.
The number of homes for sale on agent books increased to 68.9 from 66.9, while sales per branch increased fractionally but still run at just one a week.
Michael Newey, of RICS, said: “Falling supply of fresh stock is indicative of general fears overhanging the economy, with many potential sellers preferring to stay put for now. As a result, the UK housing market remains pretty flat with activity level generally subdued.
“Although it is hard to see what will give the market a lift in the near term, the announcement of a further raft of quantitative easing from the Bank of England will help to at least keep mortgage rates down. This, if nothing else, should ease the pressure on existing homeowners and limit the risk of a material pick-up in repossessions.”
The house price balance remained unchanged during September, with 23% more estate agents telling RICS prices fell.
Estate agent housing market expectations are positive for the coming months, although they fell back from previous months, mainly on the feeling that buy to let investors will return to bricks and mortar as a haven from turbulent financial markets.