–RICS: Net 8% Surveyors Saw UK House Prices Fall In July
–RICS: First Negative Price Balance Since July 2009
–RICS: More Surveyors Seeing House Price Falls Vs Rises
–RICS: July Sales To Stocks Ratio 24.0 Vs June’s 25.1
–RICS: July Sales To Stocks Ratio Lowest Since July 2009

LONDON (MNI) – More surveyors are now seeing falling rather than
rising house prices, according to the latest RICS house market survey.

The headline price balance slipped from +8 in June to -8 in July,
the first negative reading since July 2009. RICS said that increased
supply and dwindling demand had conspired to undermine prices.

The prices reading is the weakest since June 2009.

The new instructions balance increased from +28 to +33, the highest
reading since May 2007. Anecdotal evidence from surveyors suggests the
rise in new instructions is primarily related to homeowners testing the
market following the abolition of Home Information Packs (HIPs) in late
May, rather than distressed selling, according to RICS.

The average number of properties on surveyor’s books rose 4.1% on
the month to 69.1 while the average number of sales slipped just 0.1% on
the month to 16.6. As a result, the sales-to-stock ratio – an indicator
of market slack – fell to 24%, the lowest level since June 2009.

RICS said the amount of slack in the market caused the surveyors’
outlook indicator to slump to -28 in July, down sharply from a reading
of -6 in June.

Commenting, RICS spokesperson, Ian Perry said:

“The fall in the RICS house price measure is broadly consistent
with most other recent data that has been released. This is a reflection
of both the increase in supply following the scrapping of HIPs and the
more cautious stance from buyers.

“Significantly, the forward-looking price expectations numbers
suggest that this softer trend will continue through the second half of
the year. However, agents are still generally optimistic about sales
activity which should benefit from more realistic pricing of

The RICS survey joins the Hometrack, Nationwide and Rightmove
surveys in showing a fall in house prices in July. The Halifax was the
only survey to report rising prices last month – the survey recorded a
0.6% increase in prices on the month.

–London newsroom 4420 7862 7492; email: ukeditorial@marketnews.com