RICS Housing Survey – signs of improvement or clutching at green shoots

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According to the latest housing market survey (March) the RICS reported “further signs of improvement in activity indicators” but it really is a struggle to see much of an improvement.

"The seasonally adjusted net balance of surveyors reporting falling rather than rising prices recorded a modest improvement" but price experience remains deeply in negative territory. 

“New instructions continued to decline resulting in inventory on estate agents books falling to the lowest level since September 2007” but this is a sign of a market stagnating not improving.
 
“The sales to stock ratio edged upwards for the third successive month to stand at its best level since August 2008”. Presumably this is because new instructions continue to decline.

New buyer enquiries rose for the fifth consecutive month and completed sales per agent over the last three months increased from 9.6 to 9.7 in February. This is a very low base for activity.

So not much of an improvement. The housing market is still in the doldrums with no recovery imminent. There is however some additional evidence October / November can be marked as the nadir of the market. For now we may just bump along the bottom until later in the year.

RICS Housing Market Survey March 2009 The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors

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