- Estate agents expect prices to fall in London in next three months
- Now takes an extra month to complete purchase compared to start of year
- Just a net balance of 9% expect prices to rise overall by end of 2014
Newly agreed home sales fell for the first time since September 2012 last month, according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors - while its agents dramatically downgraded their outlook for house prices.
An overall balance of 20 per cent of surveyors reported a drop in agreed property sales in August, marking the first dip for nearly two years.
At the same time, the number of estate agents predicting property prices to keep rising this year has halved since a month ago, the report shows.
And previously red hot London is the region estate agents are most pessimistic in over the coming months. The chart above shows how a net balance now expect falls over the rest of 2014.
While August is typically a quiet month for the property market, the RICS figures are already seasonally adjusted to take this into account.
Charles Puxley, of Jackson-Stops Estate Agents in Chelsea, said: ‘August has been customarily quiet with very little enthusiasm from buyers to view let alone make offers.
‘There is also not much new stock to look forward to in the autumn and top end prices achieved last year will not be repeated for the foreseeable.’
East Anglia and Northern Ireland saw the strongest upward momentum in prices during August, with 70 and 68 per cent of surveyors respectively in these regions reporting uplifts.
In Scotland, 41 per cent of surveyors reported prices increasing rather than drifting downwards, while in Wales this figure was 40 per cent.
Simon Rubinsohn, Rics chief economist, said: ‘Buyer activity in the London market has been particularly pronounced but that is in a sense consistent with the move to a more sustainable market in the capital.
‘Elsewhere around the country, the market in general is showing a greater degree of resilience, but that largely reflects the fact that in some areas the recovery has only recently taken hold and affordability is rather less stretched.
‘Significantly, members now expect price gains over the next year to be faster outside of the capital, than in it.’