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Written by rosalind renshaw

The housing market appears to be at a tipping point, with sales faltering and potential buyers thin on the ground – whilst rentals flourish.

Two new surveys both tell the same story.

According to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, the traditional spring bounce has failed to materialise.

Its latest report, published this morning, says that sales in May fell back on April’s levels. In the three months to May, the average RICS estate agent sold just 14.7 properties.

The average number of properties listed climbed by 8.1% to average 71.3 per office, but new buyer inquiries slipped by 2%.

House prices barely moved, according to the RICS survey. Although surveyors reported falls outside London, the declines were within the margins of 0% to 2%.

RICS housing spokesperson Ian Perry said: “Buyer interest in purchasing property remains flat across much of the country and there is little sign of this changing any time soon. Uncertainty over the economic outlook remains as important as the availability of mortgage finance in depressing demand.

“On the other hand, the appetite to rent is continuing to grow. And, with little new supply coming on to the lettings market, the cost of renting is increasing and will continue to do so.”

In the other housing market survey, from the property portal Home, which aggregates listings from virtually every estate agency website and portal, a similar picture emerges.

It says that houses are now taking longer to sell, staying on the market an average of 109 days, while the number of properties on the market which have had their prices reduced rose to 88,815 – 34% more than in May and equating to 12% of all properties on the market.

The Home survey said that home buyers with cash or large deposits are becoming rarer, although buy-to-let investors are active.


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    Nothing new in this article....people want to buy, people want to sell but there is, as one article stated "a hosepie ban on mortgages". Until this is resolved there is no light at the end of this tunnel.

    • 16 June 2011 09:47 AM
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    Ray Evans is 100% correct as debated elsewhere by me yesterday and late last week. This is the massive difference between this current market situation and previous serious problems.

    This time it is not just borrowers and potenatial borrowers who are in a mess it is the lenders

    • 14 June 2011 11:49 AM
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    The interest is there but mortgages at reasonable interest rates and reasonable deposits for good LTV and good incomes and prospects are not. The 25-40% deposits are the main problem.

    • 14 June 2011 10:36 AM
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