House prices 'continue to fall'
17 June 2003
House prices across the UK are continuing to fall, according to new figures from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).
RICS recorded the fourth consecutive monthly fall in house prices, with the greatest falls in London and the South East, where prices are severely under pressure.
However, RICS stresses that the fall in house prices appears to be slowing.
Across the whole of the UK 25 per cent more surveyors reported a fall in prices than a rise, RICS says. However, some estate agents in the South East are reporting renewed interest from buyers and the figure is an improvement on April's results, with 29 per cent more surveyors reporting a price fall - the worst reading since June 1995.
Growth in the North of England and the Midlands remains comparatively strong. London leads the way in price falls, followed by the South East, East Anglia and South West.
The RICS housing market survey has shown a fall in UK house prices for most of 2003
In May 43 per cent more London estate agents reported a fall in prices than a rise and in the South East 53 per cent more agents reported a fall. The situation is reversed in the north and Wales, with only a small number of agents reporting falls.
RICS predicts that the housing market in the south will bounce back and reported strong figures for new buyer enquiries and surveyor confidence in future sales.
Just seven per cent of surveyors saw prices falling in the next three months, while 69 per cent saw prices remaining static. In April 20 per cent of surveyors predicted a price drop in the next three months.