Samuels Says: Surveyors expect demand

Surveyors expect demand

No surprises there, then. During August, 9 per cent more surveyors reported a fall in demand for property than a rise, compared to just 4 per cent more seeing a drop-off in demand during July.

The Olympics were the culprit, the latest report from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) concluded, keeping prospective buyers preoccupied.

Despite this, the RICS said that sales held up, albeit at a level way beyond historical norms. Looking forward into the autumn, more surveyors expect demand — and subsequently sales — to pick up.
I agree that sales are likely to pick up marginally in the autumn, but at the same time I don't expect any fireworks within the owner-occupier market. At best it will be so-so.
The investment side of the residential property market will continue to perform strongly, but until high street lenders become less cautious at higher LTVs it's hard to see how the owner-occupier side can gain any real traction.
And, of course, the lack of action at the lower end of the market ultimately ripples up through the market as a whole.
The hope is that the Funding for Lending scheme will start making lenders more bullish at higher LTVs, especially with first-time buyers, but I'll believe that when I see it. There have been countless such schemes in the past, none of which have worked.
And even if the high street lenders do start lending more, will they be lending to the people that really need it?
If there's one element of consistency in the property market, and this is something that comes through in most house price indices, it's that London and the south east are proving far more resilient than other areas of the country, in particular the north.
It's hard to believe this trend will not continue as we enter 2013, which could be a mirror image of 2012.

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