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Economy in Brief

U.K. RICS Survey at All-time Low for House Prices
by Robert Brusca April 15, 2008

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors' (RICS) said that 78.5% more surveyors reported a fall than a rise in house prices in March. This was the weakest reading since RICS began the survey back in 1978. Since 1999 new sales prices and price expectations are on the lowest readings we have seen. 

Still anther house price survey, this one from an official source, the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG), provided evidence that house price pressures were easing in the UK but not yet actually falling. In that report, the DCLG found that annual house price inflation in February (not March) was up by 6.7%, lower than the 8.0% recorded on the same basis in January.

The average house price in February was Stg217,737, down from Stg221,278 in January, a monthly drop of 1.6%. The DCLG records prices when sales are concluded using data from completed mortgages and therefore are considered to be the most accurate of the surveys but they lag other market generated sources. Right now all methods are showing some weakening in home prices. The RICS survey results are among the most gloomy.

RICS: House Prices and Expectations for Prices and Sales Range
  Mar-08 Feb-08 Jan-08 3Mo Avg 6Mo Avg 12Mo Avg Percentile
Prices -79 -66 -55 -67 -52 -22 0.0%
Price Expectations -73 -58 -56 -62 -56 -31 0.0%
Sales expectations -15 1 -11 -8 -10 -4 7.8%
New Sales -50 -34 -29 -38 -33 -23 0.0%
Range percentile takes range back to 1999
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