House prices rose in January, but the number of new buyer enquiries fell as bad weather dampened market activity.
The RICS Housing Market Survey published today showed that house prices increased with the majority of Chartered surveyors reporting property rises to the survey. However surveyors also indicated that the number of buyer enquiries fell for the first time in 14 months.
The reduction in market activity from new buyers was also reflected in a fall in the number of houses being placed into the market for sale – the first fall in new instructions for ten months.
The very bad weather during the month was almost certainly to blame for the decline in market activity, according to the RICS report, rather than a flagging of market fundamentals.
Chartered Surveyors seem generally optimistic about the housing market in the near term. The number of surveyors expecting house prices to rise increased from 12 percent to 24 percent while the number of surveyors expecting sales to pick up over the next three months rose from seven percent to 24 percent in January.
As Ian perry, RICS spokesman said: “The cold snap in January clearly has a huge impact upon both supply and demand in the housing market with activity coming to a halt amidst the seasonal chaos. Activity and interest is likely to pick up in the coming months as the market experiences a spring bounce.
“House prices are likely to rise in the short term but if more supply continues to come onto the market, it is possible that the market will run out of steam in the latter part of the year.”