House price slide continues

22 July 2003
House prices have grown at their slowest rate since February, according to new figures out today.

The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) survey shows that the number of sales has fallen to its lowest level for two and a half years.

The research found that 12 per cent more surveyors reported a fall rather than a rise in house prices for the three months to June, a 26 per cent increase when compared to May. All southern regions have seen the pace of price rises fall, particularly in the South East and South West.

House prices in the North and Wales have continued to rise, but they have slowed in Yorkshire and Humberside.

The number of completed sales have fallen to their lowest level since December 2000. Sales are down 5 per cent compared to March and 22 per cent compared to the same period a year ago.

However surveyors reported an increase in the number of new potential buyers entering the market. RICS sees this as a sign that a degree of consumer confidence is returning after the war in Iraq.

Surveyors believe that the rise in new potential buyers has been helped by a return in optimism that house prices will not crash in the future.

RICS survey reflects a survey by the property website, Rightmove, which found that house prices grew by only 1 per cent in June. Rightmove also found that the number of unsold properties on estate agents' books has increased 58 per cent in the last year.