Sales, buyers and sellers all falling away in Christmas slow-down

House prices continued to fall in November, according to the latest data from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

The body said the balance of surveyors reporting price falls rather than rises softened, from -49% to -44%, meaning price falls were slightly less widespread than in October. The RICS said the falls were down to continuing low demand from buyers, with new buyer enquiries falling at an even faster rate than in October. The balance of new buyer enquiries reported by surveyors fell from -12% to -18%.

Surveyors have reported that many sellers have now decided to put off their sales until at least the new year, amidst rising unsold stock levels. In November the average number of homes on a surveyor’s books rose from 67.2 to 69.5, with the average number of sales decreasing to 14.8 per month from 15.2.

RICS spokesperson, Ian Perry said the data showed the housing market remained subdued. He said: “Despite some better economic data, fears over how future spending cuts will impact on the jobs market are clearly still weighing heavily on potential purchasers’ minds, with many deciding to ‘wait and see’ until the new year. Meanwhile, the lack of mortgage finance continues to deter first time buyers.”