London house prices continue to fall as capital sees UK's sharpest drop

London house prices continue to fall as capital sees UK's sharpest drop

When surveyors were asked to compare appraisals that were undertaken in May with the same period previous year, 18 per cent more stated that they were lower on a like-for-like basis.

Despite the overall drop in demand from new buyers, interest from people searching for properties was reported to have increased in some parts of the United Kingdom - including London, the South West, Yorkshire and Humber, the West Midlands, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Sales increased in the West and East Midlands, Scotland and Northern Ireland, but were either flat or negative across the rest of the UK.

The Land Registry reported a more up to date average United Kingdom house price of £226,906, for April.

On the other hand, surveyors are reporting that more sellers listed their properties in May, which is a positive sign and will help to correct the current stagnation in areas where buyers are struggling to find what they are looking for due to lack of choice.

This comes off the back of a strong month according to the survey, with newly agreed sales figures in the province the most positive of all the United Kingdom regions.

It is a similar picture with house prices. In the capital, May represents the third month in a row which has seen new instructions remain positive. But again there was widespread regional variation.

RICS residential property spokesman Samuel Dickey
RICS residential property spokesman Samuel Dickey

London shows the most negative trends in terms of prices, with downwards movement also across the wider south-east. Alongside this, landlord instructions remain in decline.

Rics said: "It therefore remains to be seen whether the increase in May truly marks the beginning of supply pressures easing".

The May survey indicates that Northern Ireland house prices continue to move on a upward trajectory, while local surveyors are the UK's most optimistic with regard to the price outlook, with expectation levels the strongest reported since November 2015.

Simon Rubinsohn, chief economist at RICS, said: 'Although agents are suggesting that a little more supply may have come onto the market in May, some of it from the buy-to-let sector, inventory levels still remain near historic lows.

Brian Murphy, head of lending for Mortgage Advice Bureau said: "Quite possibly, a lot of vendors have held off marketing their homes over the last few months waiting for "the right time", particularly given ongoing political uncertainty".

"Indeed, with the run rate on appraisals continuing to track below the numbers of a year ago it is premature to conclude that a sustained upturn in available stock is imminent".

"All in all then, it's probably realistic to say that the market is still resilient but lacking momentum, however a set of encouraging economic data together with a breakthrough on Brexit negotiations could soon change that".

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