Tuesday 9 September 2008

Continued UK Weakness May Attract Irish Buyers

The RICS UK housing market survey for August 2008 showed that the average number of transactions fell further in August as a lack of mortgage finance continues to stifle the ability of buyers to access the market.

81% more Chartered Surveyors reported falling rather than rising house prices, a decrease from 83.1% in July.

The continued inability of many to secure mortgage finance is reflected in the collapse in transactions.  The average number of transactions per surveyor (over the last three months) is now at 12.7, the lowest figure since the survey began, with estate agents in a number of regions reporting less than a sale per week. 

In June and July, surveyors reported that many sellers had dropped asking prices to more realistic levels and that predatory buyers were waiting to pounce on bargains, but the traditionally weak month of August has seen this interest stagnate.  

Commenting, RICS spokesperson Jeremy Leaf said:

"A lack of mortgage liquidity is the key issue which is keeping the housing market from showing any real sign of recovery.

"While money is scarce, many will continue to be denied the next step on the property ladder. The Government’s stamp duty policy will not be enough to kick-start transactions and is more likely to assist buy-to-let investors with better access to finance than the first-time buyers it was aimed at. More needs to be done to reinvigorate a market whose confidence has taken a severe knock.

"In the absence of much transactional activity many home owners are being forced to rent their properties while they wait for lending criteria to be loosened and demand to pick up."

The full report can be found here


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