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UK house prices edge higher in June despite softer demand – RICS

By Abigail Townsend

House prices continued to grow in June, a closely-watched survey showed on Thursday, but at a slower pace than previously seen.
According to the latest Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors Residential Market Survey, a net balance of 65% of respondents reported an increase in house prices. That remains well above the long-run average of 13%, although it is down on both April’s high of 78% and May’s 73%.

Surging inflation has seen the Bank of England increase the cost of borrowing five times since December. Yet despite that, and the cost-of-living crisis, house prices have been broadly supported by a lack of supply, despite a softening in demand.

RICS found that new properties being listed for sale remained largely unchanged in June, while new buyer enquiries fell for the third successive month, with -27% of respondents reporting a fall in interest from would-be buyers,

The volume of sales also dipped in June, with -13% reporting a fall in newly agreed sales. A balance of -9% anticipated a fall in transactions in the coming months; 37% expect prices to continue rising over the next year.

Simon Rubinsohn, chief economist at RICS, said: “Pricing across much of the housing market remains resilient for now, with a shortage of stock continuing to be a feature highlighted by many respondents to the survey.

“Although buyer enquiries have predictability slipped a little of late, this needs to be placed in the context of the healthy level of demand in previous months.”

The survey of chartered surveyors, which was sent to 472 branches, was based on 251 responses.

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