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Are buyers getting less enthusiastic

Monday, December 08, 2014

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) publishes a report on the property market that looks at what surveyors (the people who check your house for hidden faults) are thinking.

It’s a useful survey, including both hard numbers and quotes from individuals. In October, a lot more surveyors saw demand for property fall than saw it rise. The most downbeat of all were in London – nearly two-thirds of surveyors are reporting a drop in buyers.

The Evidence


Anecdotal evidence from individual surveyors confirms the impression. One London surveyor observed that the “post-holiday slowdown continues as year-end approaches and confidence drops… response from potential buyers has definitely slackened”.

It’s a similar story in other parts of the UK. For instance, in the southwest, one surveyor reports that the “general level of enquiries [is] down on all fronts”. Another in the southeast notes that there are “few buyers”.

Simon Rubinsohn, Rics’ chief economist, notes that overall people are “becoming a little more cautious about making a purchase”. And politics is having an impact (perhaps all the talk of a ‘mansion tax’). “An increasing awareness of the approaching general election also appears to be contributing to the softer market”.

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