Residential markets across the U.K. are still lacking momentum, with sales volumes and buyers’ inquiries both seeing little change in January from December, according to a market report released on Thursday.
In its monthly Residential Market Survey, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors said only 5% of surveyors reported an increase in new buyer inquiries, the lowest reading since August 2016. In comparison, 6% of surveyors said inquiries increased in December.
Meanwhile, sales were flat for the second consecutive month in January, with the national sales indicator decreasing 1%, according to the report. However, there are regional variations. Central London continues to see a shrinkage of sales, while transactions in the South West rose strongly, the report showed.
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On the other hand, one encouraging note was that the “headline price,” which measures price trends in 10 regions across England and Wales, registered a reading of 25%, meaning that 25% more surveyors saw a price increase than decrease. In December, the reading was 23% for the 10 regions.
One sore spot in the headline price was in Central London, where the reading declined from -17% to -21%. It has now been in negative territory for the 11 straight months as more surveyors reported price decreases than increases, the report said. The sluggish condition is partly due to the shortage in inventories, according to the report.
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