UK housing market activity growth softened in December as the lockdown restrictions coupled with the ending of the Stamp Duty holiday weighed on the property market, data released by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, or RICS, showed on Thursday.
Although the house price balance slowed slightly from November, about 65 percent of respondents reported rise in house prices in December.
The national net balance has remained in a tight range of between +61 percent and +65 percent in each of the last four months.
However, a net balance of 13 percent expects house prices to fall at the national level, the softest since May 2020. Notwithstanding this, a net balance of +24 percent anticipates national house prices to be higher in a year’s time.
Further, the survey showed that 15 percent of participants said buyer enquiries increased in December compared to 26 percent in November.
The flow of new instructions being listed onto the sales market continued to pick-up over the month, as a net balance of +7 percent reported increases. The indicator on agreed sales dropped to +18 percent from +24 percent.
Looking ahead, near term sales expectations slipped further to post a net balance of -22 percent at the headline level.