20 Feb

Rics chief downbeat about housing market

Rics chief downbeat about housing market

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) has stood by its previous forecasts of a troubled housing market in the coming months.

Speaking at the Reuters housing summit, chief economist Simon Rubinsohn said the industry body maintained its opinion of a zero per cent house price forecast for 2008.

He also warned of factors that could edge the risks on the "downside of zero", such as fewer enquiries from new buyers.

However he also underlined his belief that the economy was fairly resilient and there would be some improvement by the end of the year.

"They [our models] are suggesting that the risks are on the downside of zero," he told the summit in London.

Mr Rubinsohn also warned house builders could be reluctant to go ahead with projects, threatening national targets of three million new homes by 2020.

Rics also said in its monthly housing market survey that the number of number of its members reporting a fall rather than a rise in prices increased in January.
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