Housing market remains stagnant

July 11th, 2012

According to surveyors, first time buyers are still struggling to get a foothold on the property ladder, which is causing the housing market to remain flat.

According to a poll by the RICS, new buyer enquiries in June were at their lowest point for more than a year and a half. In the same report, 22% more surveyors reported that property prices were dropping rather than climbing, which was the weakest reading since October, 2011.

Experts believe the market has been affected by the end of the stamp duty holiday for first time buyers, which took effect in March.

Simon Rubinsohn, chief executive at RICS insisted that activity levels would not pick up until mortgage lenders reduced the amount of deposits required from first time buyers.

Commenting on the current state of the housing market, Rubinsohn commented, “Although there is some positivity that the amount of sales going through is going to see an increase, it is unlikely that we will see any real movement until purchasing a property is more affordable and accessible for the likes of first-time buyers.”

On a more positive note, house builders have been reporting increases in sales and profits in recent months. Bovis Homes reported an 18% increase in completions to 944 in the first six months of 2012.

Commenting on the figures, Steve Pierce of ABi Garage Doors commented, “Despite the property market being stuck in the doldrums, over recent months we have seen more and more people who have decided not to move, but instead renovate their existing property. As a result we have a seen an increase in garage door sales compared to this time last year. At the same time, those who want to move are recognising that the appearance of the outside of their home is fundamental when trying to sell their property. For homes with a garage, a new garage door is a relatively inexpensive way of making your house stand out and look well kept”

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