: U.K. housing market stalling as buying demand records largest drop in over 20 years

by | Nov 10, 2022 | Stock Market

Demand for U.K. houses is falling at its fastest paces since the pandemic began in early 2020 as “buyer caution” from soaring mortgage rates further weakens the property market, according to new figures. Data shows an index measuring the change in new buyer enquiries in October fell for a sixth consecutive month, dropping to -55% last month compared to a -36% decrease in September.

This marks the biggest drop since the global financial crisis in 2008, not taking into account the housing market shutdown in 2020 due to U.K. pandemic restrictions. The index, compiled by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), the U.K’s trade body for chartered surveyors, records the proportion of surveyors seeing an increase in buyer demand and those registering a shrinkage. While demand is waning all across England, house prices are also falling. RICS records its house price index fell to -2% in October, the first negative reading since June 2020, down from +30% in September. This mirrors the recent house price index from mortgage lender Halifax, which found U.K. house prices fell at its fastest rate in 21 months. Simon Rubinsohn, chief economist at RICS, said the figures show “further evidence of buyer caution in the face of the sharp rise in mortgage costs. As a result, the volume of activity is likely to slip back over the coming months and realistic pricing is now much more important to complete a sale.” Daily mortgage rates recorded by Moneyfacts …

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