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Britain’s housing market is stalling as worries that interest rates could rise soon spook buyers.

Sales and inquiries from potential purchasers both fell “noticeably” in September, and see little evidence that the market will pick up soon.

That’s according to Britain’s chartered surveyors, who have given a rather downbeat assessment of the sector.

They report that price gauge for London remains “firmly negative”, and there are also signs that prices are cooling in the South East too, with talk that houses are simply over-priced.

In a new report, the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors say:


The UK housing market continues to lack momentum in September, as demand from new buyers and sales fall again and the shift in interest rate expectations contributes to buyer caution in a slowing market,

However, Wales, the North West of England, Scotland and Northern Ireland all saw prices rise in September – reflecting regional disparities in the housing market.


Photograph: RICS

Prices are expected to fall over next three months, and growth over the coming year is predicted to be the weakest since June 2016.

As RICS puts it:


The headline indicators on demand and sales both slipped deeper into negative territory, with this subdued picture anticipated to persist over the coming months.

Feedback from contributors suggests the recent shift in interest rate expectations may be contributing to the more cautious tone in market sentiment.

Estate agents are particularly downbeat about London’s prospects over the next year.

RICS says:


At the twelve month horizon, respondents do expect prices to increase in all areas, with London the sole exception. In the capital, twelve month expectations are now more downbeat than at any other point since this series was introduced in 2010.

This chart shows how…

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