RICS survey reveals massive dip in new home buyers between December and January

The January cold snap saw a fifth more surveyors reporting a fall instead of a rise in the number of new buyers last month, according the RICS.

The latest RICS survey showed that there was a massive dip in new buyers between December and January and highlights the freezing weather and snow as a potential reason for the drop.

Overall, 20% more surveyors reported a drop in new househunters than those who saw a rise, down from 18% more who reported a rise in inquiries in December.

Ian Perry, spokesman for the RICS, said “The cold snap in January clearly has a huge impact upon both supply and demand in the housing market with activity coming to a halt amidst the seasonal chaos. House prices are likely to rise in the short term, but if more supply continues to come onto the market, it is possible that the market will run out of steam.”

But despite the slowdown in activity, house prices continued to rise, with 32% more surveyors reporting price increases in January than those who saw falls, up from 30% more in December.

Retail sales for the month rose at the slowest annual pace in15 years and marked “an awful start to the year and in stark contrast to an upbeat December,” according to Stephen Robertson, director general of the British Retail Consortium, added: “Customers are becoming cautious again in the face of economic and political uncertainty. Retailers will be hoping these results are mainly a snow-induced blip.”