(Sharecast News) – House prices fell sharply last month, industry research showed on Thursday, as higher mortgage rates continued to hit home.
According to the latest Residential Market Survey from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, the net balance for house prices fell from -55 in July to -68 last month, the most negative reading since February 2009.
New buyer enquiries slipped to -47 from -45, with new sale instructions falling to -26 from -17.
Respondents also reported a decline in newly agreed sales, from -45 to -47 – the weakest reading since the early stages of the pandemic.
Simon Rubinsohn, Rics’ chief economist, said: “The latest round of feedback from Rics members continues to point to a sluggish housing market with little sign of any relief in prospect.
“Buyer enquiries remain under pressure against a backdrop of economic uncertainty and the high cost of mortgage finance. Meanwhile, prices are continuing to slip, albeit that the relatively modest fall to date needs to be seen in the context of the substantial rise recorded during the pandemic.
“Critically, affordability metrics still remain stretch in many parts of the country.”
Looking ahead, respondents expected sales to remain subdued, although the balance did turn marginally less negative, at -38 compared to -45 a month previously.
The latest survey sample covered 550 branches with 269 responses.