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House prices fell in four areas of the country in October, surveyors report.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors found that house prices are falling in London, the South East, East Anglia and the North East.

What is more in the next three months surveyors expect prices to decline nationally.

Simon Rubinsohn, RICS chief economist, said: “The combination of the increased cost of moving, a lack of fresh stock coming to the market, uncertainly over the political climate and now an interest rate hike appears to be taking its toll on activity in the housing market.

“With both buyer enquiries slipping and sales expectations also subdued, the sense is that home owners are staying put and first time purchasers are increasingly focusing on that part of the market supported by the Help to Buy incentive.

“A stagnant second-hand market is bad news for the wider economy, not just in terms of spending but also because it restricts mobility.

“Prices do now seem under pressure at the more expensive end of the market with a further rise in the number of properties transacting at below the asking price.

“But it is important to not characterise the whole of the market by what is happening in parts of London and the wider South-East.”

Stephen Wasserman, managing director at West One Loans, played down the report however.

He said “Today’s RICS figures showing subdued activity are disappointing; however, industry analysis over the past few months has painted a confused picture of the property market, so it is important not to get carried away and assume this flat-lining is a downward trend.

“Political and economic turmoil, alongside the competitive environment and supply vs demand issue, have all contributed to wider market uncertainty in recent months, and this has undoubtedly hindered buyer and investor demand.

“While it may take time for the sector to reach its full potential, the market has shown its underlying resilience before, and we are cautiously optimistic that the market will pick up in due course – especially if the rumoured stamp duty changes for first-time buyers are a topic in this month’s Budget.”


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