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Where house prices are set to keep falling for at least a year - the latest bad news for property owners

Mirror logo Mirror 10/05/2018 Vicky Shaw
a man standing in front of a shop © Provided by Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited

House prices saw the biggest dip since 2012 in April, as the upper and middle-priced tiers of the property market prove particularly challenging, surveyors have reported.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) said a net balance of 8% of surveyors reported prices falling rather than rising in April - the most negative figure since November 2012, albeit only a slight decline.

Price falls in London are heavily weighing down the overall price growth reading across the UK.

Rics said that in London, a balance of 65% of surveyors saw prices fall over the month rather than rise - the weakest reading since February 2009.

Related: House price predictions explained: Why are there so many reports and what Nationwide, Halifax, Rightmove and the rest all actually tell you

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Its report said: "Survey feedback suggests it is the upper and middle priced tiers of the market that are proving the most challenging."

Nearly seven in 10 (69%) surveyors reported sales prices are coming in below asking prices for properties valued at over £1 million. This figure was 74% for properties listed between £500,000 and £1 million.

In contrast, most (59%) said sales prices were either at the same level or slightly above asking prices for properties marketed at £500,000 or less.

Falling prices were also still being reported in the South East of England, and also in the South West of England for the first time since May 2013.

Meanwhile, house prices continue to rise in Northern Ireland and Scotland, the report said.

Can house prices recover?

Looking ahead, a balance of 31% of surveyors expect house prices to be higher in a year's time, with the strongest sentiment in Scotland and the North West of England.

But expectations remain downbeat in London, with 20% more surveyors predicting a further decline over the year to come.

Related: 'Time to celebrate! House prices are falling'

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Buyer demand and sales held steady over April, the report said, with Scotland showing the most upbeat assessment for sales prospects over the coming year.

Across the UK, average stock levels on estate agents' books were broadly unchanged in April, although still close to an all-time low seen in February.

Simon Rubinsohn, Rics chief economist, said the housing market typically tends to see a pick-up in activity at around this time of the year.

He continued: "However, once this seasonal pattern has been allowed for the underlying trend in transactions still remains broadly flat."

NOW SEE: Britain's cheapest and most expensive places to buy a home (Lovemoney)

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