The latest report, which takes into account the UK housing market in 2018, has seen growth dwindle as estate agents report a fall in homeowners buying and selling their properties.
The report contains an economic statement which commented on the change in house supply and demands.
It reads: “UK house prices rose by 3.9% in the year to April 2018, down from 4.2 per cent in the year to March 2018.
“Looking at the demand for housing, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors’ (RICS) UK Residential Market Survey for April 2018 revealed their new buyer enquiries series was more or less unchanged during April.”
“On the supply side, RICS reported their new instructions continued to decline.
“Average stock levels for estate agents remain near a record low.
“Both sales and price expectations continue to be flat in the near term; however, there is greater optimism in the longer-term outlook, particularly for prices.”
Property expert Louisa Fletcher commented on the HM Land Registry House Price Index (April Data) released this morning.
She suggested the fall in buying and selling may be due to homeowners showing caution ahead of Brexit.
She said: “I’d say that today’s data, albeit historic by two months, is likely to be fairly representative of what the rest of this year will look like, with modest headline price growth and a steady number of total transactions.
“At the end of the day, there are still a lot of ‘would-be’ home movers waiting in the wings until they feel that the political and economic climate has settled enough to make a decision, so it’s quite likely that once we know what the Brexit divorce settlement will look like in a few months’ time, some discretionary movers may well come back to the market.
“Until we know more about the Brexit divorce settlement, we’re probably looking at a same-again picture for the next quarter at least.”
Louisa also shared some further thoughts on the regional disparity between house prices.
“Whilst these figures show reasonable annual growth overall, what they don’t show is the fragmented picture that’s beneath the surface, with some regions performing far better than others.
“As we can see from the figures, the previous ‘hotspot’ of the East of England now appears to be topping out – no doubt in part a consequence of mortgage down-valuations due to an overheating market – with the North West seeing prices stagnate.
“Elsewhere, the East Midlands in particular continues to do well, mainly due to infrastructure investments, together with the ‘Northern powerhouse’ effect continuing to create a positive impact on values in the North East.
“Looking at the breakdown of price performance by type of property, it’s not entirely surprising that the prices paid for flats, as opposed to other property types, is dropping.
“With many developers converting office space into apartments, together with investors beginning to offload their properties due to increased taxation, we’re beginning to see a glut of this type of property hit the market which obviously if it continues, will create a downward pressure on flats and apartments.
“Great news for buyers, but potentially not such great news for builders with new developments to launch.“