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The August 2018 RICS Residential Market Survey shows that house prices in the West Midlands remain firm in what the survey calls a ‘divergent national housing picture.”

Despite the general conclusion of the survey that west midlands house prices are ‘steady’ there was a fall in newly agreed sales in August 2018, which represents the most negative reading in the last four months.

The survey had previously reported the relative lack of supply in the west midlands housing market as one of the main impediments to more activity, and these latest results show that the average inventory of unsold stock on estate agents books, is still close to historic lows. However, this is not helped by 21% of respondents to the survey who said that they had seen a fall in new instructions over the month, pointing to a decline in the fresh stock coming to the market.

Colin Townsend of John Goodwin in Malvern commented:”A quiet month (August 2018) but still pleasing levels of sales achieved. Requests for valuation appointments were down a little however. Still no real evidence of prices falling despite rumours that other parts of the UK are beginning to struggle.”

The chief economist of RICS, Simon Rubinsohn said:”It is clearly very difficult to talk about the housing market at the moment without being acutely aware of the marked differences in trends across the UK. As the latest RICS results highlights, in many parts of the country the housing market actually remains quite firm.”

“While a combination of lack of stock and some levels of uncertainty, both relating to the interest rate outlook and Brexit, has had an impact on activity, the overall picture in these areas is still encouraging.”

Rubinsohn’s comments were made before the recent statement from the Governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, about the severe threat to UK house prices that a no-deal Brexit represents. Mr Carney suggested that house prices would decline by up to 30% over three years, while mortgage rates would spiral, if the UK left the EU without a deal in place.

Source: The Business Desk

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