Greater Optimisim in Property Market hidden by Flat Month

011210_1327_RICS1stFall12The RICS (Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors) Housing Market Survey for February 2013 reports a flat market over the period.

However when you investigate further into the survey result you realise there quite a bit of optimisim amongst respondents.

Key facts:

  • National price picture is fairly stable
  • Scotland and Northern Ireland shows signs of stabilising
  • London remains the outperformer
  • Little improvement in activity after January’s snow

     The headline national price balance actually fell slightly from -4 to -6 – meaning that 6% more surveyors saw price falls rather than rises over the past three months.

However RICS clarify that reading in this ballpark have typically represented a generally stable view of the market. Further a large 2/3 rds of respondents have actually reported seeing no change in the market over the past three months.

January’s snowfall had predictably taken its toll on market activity, with both enquiries and instructions falling. February’s results disappointingly point to a levelling off of these indicators instead of a rebound, potentially undermining the current positive trend in

Nevertheless, surveyors remain of the view that the current weakness in enquiries is likely to be transitory and market conditions will strengthen particularly during the second half of the year. Indeed, the sales expectations net balance at the twelve month horizon
recorded +53.


Regionally London continues to lead the national picture with a price balance of 50 (ie. 50% more surveyors seeing increases in prices as opposed to falls in prices).

This is followed by the South East and equally North West & East Midlands on 14 and 11 respectively.

At the bottom of the pack is East Anglia with a -32 price balance, followed by Yorkshire & Humberside and the South West both with -24.

Alec Hanson

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