House prices in North rise faster than in rest of UK

House prices in North rise faster than in rest of UK

According to the latest RICS Residential Market Survey, a steadier trend is emerging for sales activity across the United Kingdom, with key indicators more stable relative to recent months.

The biggest house price falls were recorded in London and the South East.

Today's MPC meeting at the Bank of England is expected to produce no change in interest rates - despite having telegraphed a rise for months, with arguments built around money market yield curves.

It tallies with data from the Halifax earlier this week which showed nationally United Kingdom house prices fell 3 per cent in April. London continues to put pressure on the national reading, with a net balance of -65% of respondents citing lower prices observed over April.

A net balance of 39 per cent more chartered surveyors reported a rise in prices for homes in Scotland, while the national RICS Price balance slipped to -8 per cent in the latest results, having been flat in February and March. "However, once this seasonal pattern has been allowed for the underlying trend in transactions still remains broadly flat", says Simon Rubinsohn, RICS Chief Economist.

However, the outlook for house prices in the capital was more downbeat, with 20 per cent more respondents predicting further price falls in the year ahead.

House prices rose faster in the North than in any other part of the United Kingdom over the last three months, new property statistics show. The fall for new instructions is also ongoing, though the -7% net balance is the least negative figure since September 2017.

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The research suggests that new buyer enquiries fell for the fifth consecutive month in a row last month, while the number of new homes being brought to the sales market fell for the eighth consecutive month.

New buyer enquiries were up slightly during April, following a relatively steady period during March. Though national readings on the near term look predominantly flat, the long-term expectations signal a potential uplift on the 12-month horizon.

Scotland exhibits the most upbeat assessment for sales prospects over the coming year.

In the lettings market, tenant demand in the three months to April was stagnant, as the net balance slipped to +1% from +6% in the previous quarter (seasonally adjusted series). There was a dip in landlord instructions coming onto the rental market, with this indicator remaining flat or negative since 2016.

The data points to the lettings market offering opportunities for landlords, according to Alan Collett, fund manager of Hearthstone Investments.

Although the picture nationally was subdued, there were significant regional variations in both the level of enquires and also in the expectations of house price growth.

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