House prices start to fall! Estate agents report decline across UK ending more than two years of consecutive growth, tells RICS
- Estate agents across the UK saw house prices fall for the first time in 28 months
- RICS survey suggests price growth is ‘stopping’
- Rents are forecast to grow 4% over the next year due to a mismatch between supply and demand
- The number of buyer inquiries fell again in October, down from September.
Estate agents reported a drop in house prices across the country in October, according to the latest RICS survey, ending a 28-month streak in which house prices were rising.
In September the survey, which takes into account the views of RICS member estate agents across the UK, revealed a net positive rating of 30 per cent when agents were asked about house prices, while in October it felt markedly less than 2 percent.
RICS calculates net ratings by taking the number of agents reporting a fall in prices from those reporting an increase. For example, if 30 percent reported an increase and 5 percent reported a drop, the net balance would be 25 percent.
Autumn: RICS estate agents reported seeing house prices fall in the month of October
However, the headline figure masks regional price differences. Respondents in areas such as East Anglia and the South East of England were most likely to notice price drops, posting net balances of -31 per cent and -16 per cent respectively.
By contrast, respondents in Northern Ireland and Scotland continued to report an upward trend in house prices, even if the pace of growth was slower than earlier in the year.
Looking ahead, respondents across the UK are now generally of the opinion that prices will decline somewhat over the next year.
October’s rating suggests “home price growth is stalling,” the commenter in the survey said.
At the same time, the number of buyer inquiries fell for the sixth consecutive month to negative 55%, falling even more than September’s negative 36%.
Also, for the second month in a row, the number of inquiries fell across all UK regions.
House prices have fallen in October across the country according to RICS estate agents
Buyer inquiries are down across the UK, according to RICS, the second month they have fallen.
Simon Rubinsohn, Chief Economist at RICS, commented: ‘The latest comments from the RICS survey provide further evidence of buyers’ caution in the face of sharply rising mortgage costs.
“As a result, the volume of activity is likely to decline in the coming months and it is now much more important to set realistic prices to complete a sale.
‘The stabilization of financial markets could provide some relief, although it may be premature to assume that this will be reflected in a reduction in interest rates in the short term. However, the employment outlook remains critical to the medium-term outlook and remains strong for the time being.’
The real estate agency Savills has forecast that prices will fall 10% next year before rising 1% in 2024. In May, the real estate agency forecast a fall of only 1% in 2023, but the sharp increase in mortgage rates has led to a bleaker picture.
Simon Wall of Stephanie Macnab Estate Agents, said: ‘The steam has definitely left the market here, although activity remains at what would otherwise be considered a reasonable level.
‘There is greater buyer strength with tougher initial negotiations and renegotiations after the survey. Hopefully the calm in the economic outlook will improve things.
“At the same time, the number of new listings entering the market also continues to decline with a net balance of -17 percent of respondents nationally citing a drop.”
Marion Currie of the Galbraith Group in Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland, said that while there is still a lot of interest in available properties, interest is waning for the winter.
“The group of buyers who have lost other properties in the last two years is still there, but it is shrinking,” he added.
In the rental market, rents are expected to continue to rise as renter demand continues to increase at a solid pace, with a net balance of 46 percent of survey participants noting an increase in October.
At the same time, however, homeowner instructions fell again based on a net balance of -14 percent of respondents.
In a year, respondents expect rents to have increased about 4 percent nationally
What to do if you need a mortgage
Borrowers who need to find a mortgage because their current fixed-rate agreement is coming to an end, or because they have agreed to purchase a home, have been urged to act but not panic..
Banks and building societies continue to lend and mortgages are still offered and applications accepted.
However, rates are changing rapidly and there is no guarantee that the offers will last and will not be replaced by mortgages that charge higher rates.
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What happens if I need to re-mortgage?
Borrowers should shop around and talk to a mortgage broker and be prepared to take action to lock in a rate.
Anyone with a fixed-rate deal that runs out within the next six to nine months should consider how much it would cost to remortgage now and consider closing a new deal.
Most mortgage offers allow fees to be added to the loan and then only collected when you withdraw. By doing this, borrowers can lock in a rate without paying expensive setup fees.
What if I am buying a house?
Those with agreed-upon home purchases should also aim to lock in rates as soon as possible, so they know exactly what their monthly payments will be.
Homebuyers should beware of overstretching and be prepared for the possibility of home prices falling from their current high levels due to higher mortgage rates limiting people’s ability to borrow.
How to compare mortgage costs
The best way to compare mortgage costs and find the right deal for you is to talk to a good broker.
You can use our best mortgage rate calculator to display offers that match your home value, mortgage size, term, and fixed rate needs.
Keep in mind though that rates can change quickly, so the advice is if you need a mortgage, shop around for rates and then talk to a broker as soon as possible, so they can help you find the right mortgage for you. .
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