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Welsh housing market shrugs off Olympic effect11th September 2012

Activity in the Welsh housing market held relatively firm during August despite the distraction of the Olympic fortnight, says the latest RICS UK housing market survey (11 September 2012).

In the three months to August, chartered surveyors in the region sold on average four per cent of the homes on their books per month. Although historically low, the proportion of sales to stock has remained relatively consistent throughout 2012.

Despite the Olympics having taken centre stage during August, the amount of potential buyers looking to view property in Wales saw a significant rise. A net balance of 17 per cent more surveyors reported increases in demand, up from -19 percent in July.

However, the number of new instructions coming onto the region’s market fell again in August with a net balance of 29 per cent more surveyors reporting a decrease. Surveyors across the country report that sales are progressing where vendors are realistic with their asking prices.

Tony Filice, RICS Wales Residential spokesperson and Director of Kelvin Francis Chartered Surveyors, Cardiff, said: “Seasonal slowing of the numbers of instructions in August is as anticipated as many vendors delay launching their properties until September. There is no shortage of enquiries and viewings however, and where vendors are prepared to be flexible on prices, sales are being agreed.

“However, difficulty in finance is still holding back the market for many would be buyers. We are not aware of any impact from the governments ‘Funding for Lending’ scheme just yet, though if the uptake improves in the coming months, it could create growing confidence in the market which may then take a noticeable upturn.”

Elsewhere in the UK, prices continued to edge lower in August, albeit at a slower pace than in previous months. 32 per cent more respondents reported price falls rather than rises, from 36 percent in July.

Across the UK, London was once again the only part of the country to report a positive reading for prices, while surveyors in Northern Ireland, the West Midlands and Yorkshire and Humberside reported the weakest readings.

Looking ahead, chartered surveyors in Wales predict transaction levels to pick up as autumn approaches with 5 per cent more respondents expecting sales to rise rather than fall over the coming three months. The same cannot be said for future prices however with a net balance of 17 per cent of surveyors expecting further drops.


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