House prices and property sales fell in March

House prices and property sales fell in March
Christina Hoghton
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Christina Hoghton

The number of sales agreed fell slightly in March, and selling prices were also down over the past year.

That’s according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), which published its Residential Market Survey for March this week.

The long-running survey also found that the number of buyers has risen again, for the third consecutive month, and more properties are up for sale too.

Surveyors said they expect agreed sales and house prices to rise in the future.

Sarah Coles, head of personal finance at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “The housing market right now is as reliable as the spring weather. You might set out with expectations of sunny skies, and walk straight into a rain storm. It’s so patchy right now that estate agents in the same regions are reporting wildly different experiences. However, on the plus side, they’re forecasting clearer skies as we move into the summer.

“Overall, there are some real positives. More upbeat sentiment and expectations of rate cuts are persuading buyers and sellers back to the market in increasing numbers. They’re not yet rushing to agree sales or push prices up, but agents are confident that this is on the way once the weather cheers up and mortgage rates fall.

“There are some negatives too. Agents across the country say that while buyers are back, demand is fragile, buyers are prone to changing their mind, and chains are still collapsing. Others say that the resurgence of supply means overpriced properties aren’t selling, and that buyers are driving a hard bargain.”

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