Real Estate Residential

UK residential real estate activity unsurprisingly subdued in November

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The UK residential real estate market was subdued in November, but the national averaged assessment masks some regional differences, the latest survey from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, (RICS) showed Thursday.

The winter months are typically quiet in the UK’s housing market and as such, the RICS report is broadly in line with what you might expect for this time of the year. However, the divergence in real estate price movements between much of the north and south, continues.

National average real estate details

The RICS prices balance for November was zero, little changed from October’s +1 balance. The balance is calculated by subtracting the proportion of surveyors who say prices have fallen from those who say they have risen.

Likewise, the national average balance for new buyer enquiries was -5. While that was an improvement from October’s -19, it shows demand for property is still slow.

“It is perhaps not surprising that the headline indicators for both prices and activity are subdued as Christmas approaches,” said RICS chief economist Simon Rubinsohn. “But once again the feedback we are receiving from respondents points to quite marked differences in trends across the country.”

North, south divergence continues

When people read about residential real estate price divergence between the north and south of the UK, they likely expect the south to be in the ascendancy. However, the reverse has been true for some months and November was no different.

RICS respondents reported the most significant house price falls in London, closely followed by south east England. Property process in east Anglia also edged lower again. But, prices in northern England, the north west and Wales, all rose during November.

“It is clear from the results than the mood music in London and the South East is very much flatter than elsewhere and interestingly, the forward-looking indicators suggest this is likely to persist into the new year,” Rubinsohn said.

The survey also showed that a balance of -10 surveyors expect residential real estate prices to rise in the coming three months. However, looking ahead to the next 12 months, surveyors remain positive and anticipate price gains a year from now.

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