Prices falling in the capital, while sentiment remains ‘modestly negative’ in the South East, the North and East Anglia

House building © alamy

House prices in central London continued to fall in August, posting the weakest result since 2008.

The latest RICS UK Residential Market Survey showed “an increasingly mixed picture” across the country, despite 6% more respondents reporting prices rising than falling.

In the heart of the capital the reading was “stuck firmly in the negative”, RICS said, with 56% more respondents seeing a fall in prices.

While solid growth was being seen in Northern Ireland, the North West, Scotland and the South West, sentiment remained “modestly negative” in the South East, the North and East Anglia.

National sales had not seen any growth since November last year, RICS said. Interest in house buying remains subdued, as does supply, the survey found, with average stock levels on agents’ book currently near an all-time low.

And rental growth was expected to outpace house price increases, at least in the medium term. RICS said survey respondents expected that in the next five years rental growth would outpace that of house prices, averaging 3% per annum, against 2% for house price inflation.

Simon Robinson, RICS’ chief economist, said: “Although the Build-to-Rent offer is now stepping up a gear, there clearly is some doubt as to whether it can do so at a fast enough pace to address the shortfall which may result from the more hostile environment for Buy-to-Let investors.”