13 May

Rics warns against gloom

Rics warns against gloom

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has warned against an overreaction to its latest property market survey, which revealed that most of its members saw house prices fall last month.

In the survey 95.1 per cent more surveyors reported a fall in prices than a rise, the highest figures the body had ever recorded, with this trend being unanimously reported in some regions.

However, despite this and the fact that even in Scotland the balance of those reporting falls is now negative, the situation is not as bad as some may believe, spokesman Ian Perry commented.

He said: "Although most surveyors are now seeing price declines, the extent of the fall, is at this stage, quite modest."

Mr Perry said the lower number of actual transactions was of greater concern and was a good reason for the Bank of England to cut interest rates again soon.

RICS also noted that a 1990s-style glut of forced sales is not occurring.

Commenting that his own body's analysis, Peter Bolton King, chief executive of the National Association of Estate Agents, suggested that due to the underpinning of the market by factors such as low unemployment the price falls would be "modest" and the longer term would see "a return to a more steady market".
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