Thu, 11 Feb 10
The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has blamed the extreme cold weather for a slump in buyer enquiries during January.
For the first time in 14 months more surveyors reported a fall rather than a rise in buyer enquiries, according to the organisation’s January survey.
The figures also show a reduction in the number of sellers between December and January, which has helped maintain prices. In January 32% more surveyors reported a rise in prices rather than a fall. This is up on December’s figure of 30%.
Ian Perry, RICS spokesman, said: “The cold snap in January clearly had a huge impact upon both supply and demand in the housing market with activity coming to a halt amid the seasonal chaos.”
He anticipates that enquires from buyers and house prices will rise as the months get warmer.
He added: “Activity and interest is likely to pick up in the coming months as the market experiences a Spring bounce.
"House prices are likely to rise in the short term but if more supply continues to come onto the market, it is possible that the market will run out of steam in the latter part of the year.”
The latest survey highlighted some regional differences, with surveyors in London, the south-east of England and the south-west of England the most upbeat about prices. In contrast in Wales, Yorkshire and Humberside and the north of England more surveyors reported a fall rather than rise in prices.
According to Home.co.uk asking prices for homes on the market in England and Wales increased by 0.1% during the month leading up to its January Asking Price Index report.
By Joe LepperSee also: Asking Price Index, House Prices and Trends by Town and Postcode
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