Property 'reaches 30-year low'

Confidence in the housing market has fallen to a level not seen in three decades, according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

A survey by RICS found that 78.5 per cent more surveyors reported a fall than a rise in house price growth last month. This is the lowest level since January 1978, which is when RICS began collecting data.

New buyer enquiries declined for the sixteenth consecutive month in March, while the number of agreed sales fell by 20 per cent - a sure sign that buying property has slipped down the public agenda.

RICS attributes the erosion of confidence to the credit crunch and tighter mortgage lending conditions on the high street.

"Sentiment is at a very low ebb and will continue to remain depressed while the economy suffers from this unique liquidity blight," remarked RICS spokesman Jeremy Leaf.

"The slowdown in prices is directly attributable to a lack of available finance which has hit demand. However, until new supply increases dramatically a significant crash remains unlikely."

According to the Home Sale Network, which represents 750 independent Estate Agents, the proportion of first-time buyers in the market currently stands at 14 per cent, down from 17 per cent this time last year.

Published 15th April, 2008

© 2008 Estates IT Limited

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