UK housing market looks bleak for 2012

The UK housing market is expected to remain ëfairly subduedí over the next few months as it shows little sign of improvement.

The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) housing market survey found that the average number of sales has fallen in the three months to December 2011.

Decemberís figures were slightly down on the previous month, however, the RICS says that it was still close to the highest recent level, which has not been seen since autumn 2010.

There has also been a reported increase in the number of properties coming onto the market. This suggests that sellers could be emerging in the New Year. 

Despite the slight peak towards the end of 2011, the outlook for the coming months remains generally pessimistic.

The RICS claims that many have ëunrealistic price expectationsí for 2012.

House prices across the country continue to vary with the north/south gap widening. London has consistently seen house prices rise against the backdrop of the countryís fragile market. 

Prices fell throughout the UK in December at the slowest rate since June 2010. The West Midlands and Yorkshire & Humberside reported the biggest falls in prices.

Ian Perry, RICS Housing Spokesperson, commented; “While it’s encouraging that sales activity held up relatively well towards the end of the year, continuing problems with the economy and the ongoing instability in the eurozone seem to be weighing heavily on the UK housing market and expectations for the coming months are fairly subdued.î

“The increasing number of prospective sellers who placed their homes on the market in December is a positive development as a lack of stock has been a big issue in some parts of the country but with sales expectations remaining flat, it is important that vendors are realistic in their pricing if they wish the sale to go through in good time.”

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