London continues to buck the trend as the prices slip further elswhere in the country, surveyors say

Activity in the housing market remained flat last month with house prices slipping further, the RICS has reported.

According to the latest RICS UK Housing Market survey, 22% more chartered surveyors reported that prices fell rather than rose in July.

While this represents a slight improvement on June’s figures, this reading has now remained in negative territory for over a year with the RICS pointing to the large deposits required by lenders as a “stumbling block”.

RICS spokesperson, Ian Perry said: “The UK housing market continued to stall during July; prices edged lower and sales levels remained subdued. While the holiday season appears to have had some impact on the market, the continual problem of inaccessible mortgage finance is still preventing first-time buyers from accessing the market. Unsurprisingly, with prices continuing to fall, many would-be sellers seem unwilling to lower their expectations and are reluctant to place their property on the market.”

New instructions, which saw a slight upturn earlier in the summer, fell back in July, with 7% more surveyors reporting falls rather than rises in new houses coming onto the market.

Across the country, London had the strongest level of new buyer enquiries and was the only region to report a positive net balance for house prices, with 30% more surveyors reporting rises rather than falls. The West Midlands and the East of England saw the most negative readings, with net balances of -44 and -40 respectively.

The RICS added that pessimism still surrounds future house price expectations. 13% more surveyors predict prices to decrease rather than increase over the next three months. However, sales expectations are more upbeat, with a net balance of 15% more respondents predicting sales to rise over the coming three months.