Britain’s property prices kept growing thorough the pandemic and recession as buyer demand outstripped the number of houses on sale. That’s also kept rental costs rising at a time when the incomes of consumers are being squeezed at the sharpest pace in decades.
Still, the report also flashed some warning signs for the housing market. New buyer interest fell for a third successive month and, some agents warned that sales were struggling as inflation hurt demand.
Michael Darwin from Northallerton said that while “demand for all types of property remains strong,” there were “more sales are falling through due to job security” and “cost of living increases.” Meanwhile, Paul Dolan in London complained that “sales have taken a sudden and severe downturn.”
The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, whose members appraise properties up for sale, said a balance of 65% of those surveyed recorded price increases in June, down from a high of 78% in April. Over the next year, 37% see continued growth.
“Although buyer inquiries have predictably slipped a little of late, this needs to be placed in the context of the healthy level of demand,” Simon Rubinsohn, chief economist of RICS, said in a statement Thursday. “A probably even more striking aspect of the latest report is the concern being voiced about the rental market.”