FEARS over the economy and a lack of mortgage finance put paid to a hoped-for spring “bounce” in the Yorkshire housing market, a survey has revealed.
Figures from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors showed the number of agreed sales slipped back across the region during May.
The balance of chartered surveyors reporting an increase in sales against those noting a fall stood at plus 2%.
The average number of completed sales per surveyor for the three months to May was just 16 while the average number of properties per surveyor rose to 99 from 84 as more properties came to market and many stayed on surveyors’ books for longer.
The rise in stock levels and the low number of sales in May meant the sales to stock ratio – an indicator of the balance between demand and supply in Yorkshire – fell to 16%.
The RICS survey said there was little sign of a renewed appetite to view property in the region.
The new buyer enquiries series fell sharply during May compared with April – with 13% more surveyors reporting falls rather than rises in demand.
Many surveyors in Yorkshire and Humber cited the bank holidays as the reason for the fall in demand. Meanwhile, new vendor instructions rose to a net balance of plus 18%.
Turning to house prices in the region, 33% more surveyors reported price falls rather than rises. Looking ahead, 39% more surveyors expect prices to fall than rise over the next three months. Expectations for future sales also remain downbeat at minus 24%.
RICS spokesman Alex McNeil, of estate agency Bramleys in Huddersfield (inset) , said: “There remains a lack of confidence in the economy with increasing inflation, falling disposable incomes and high levels of personal debt adversely impacting upon the local market where there remains a low volume of transactions.”
He said: “We can blame lenders and the lack of mortgage products for the current market malaise, but closer to home too much new housing stock coming onto the market is over-priced, creating high vendor expectations.”