RICS shows impact of end of stamp duty holiday and growing economic gloom

The housing market weakened in April as the impact of the end of the stamp duty holiday worked through the system, according to the latest monthly housing data from the RICS.

The organisation said that a balance of 19% more surveyors saw prices fall than rise, a bigger proportion than the balance of 11% that saw prices fall in March. However, the majority of surveyors, 63%, saw no change in prices at all.

The drop in fortunes, marked also by a balance of surveyors reporting the volume of newly agreed sales falling, follows two successive months of modest improvements in the market.

Once again the data showed that London was the only region of the country experience more price rises than falls, with the West Midlands experiencing the most widespread house price declines.

Expectations of future house prices also dropped, with the balance of surveyors expecting price rises in the next three months dropping from -3% to -17%.

Peter Bolton King, RICS housing spokesperson, said: “With the recent surge in activity brought on by March’s stamp duty holiday coming to an end, it is unsurprising to see that prices across much of the country are continuing to fall.

“Renewed concerns over the economy and talk of a double dip recession dominating the headlines in recent weeks may well have served to undermine consumer confidence. What’s more, the continuing lack of affordable mortgage finance is still hindering many first time buyers who cannot afford to get a foot on the property ladder.”