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House prices keep rising in the West Midlands, survey reveals

By Simon Penfold | Property | Published:

House prices are still rising across the West Midlands, as a lack of new properties on the market forces househunters to pay more for the home of their choice.

House prices are still rising in the West Midlands, according to the latest RICS survey

And they are growing faster in the West Midlands than anywhere else in the country.

The latest survey of chartered surveyors up and down the region found them in gloomy mood, as the shortage of homes on the market also means the number of sales is falling – and they don't expect that to change any time soon.

The market survey from RICS – the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors – showed that in September 58 per cent more of those taking part were reporting that house prices were rising, compared to 52 per cent in August.

And that continues a trend that started back in the summer of 2016.

As prices continue to rise firmly in the West Midlands, they are sliding in London, the South East and in the East of England.

The lack of properties on the market is also hitting the rental market, with demand for homes continuing to outstrip supply in the West Midlands.

House prices are still rising in the West Midlands, according to the latest RICS survey

Stephen Smith, of estate agents Fraser Wood in Walsall, said: “There is a lack of new instructions at reasonable prices. Sellers considering and feeling that prices have gone up considerably.”

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The number of new properties coming to the West Midlands’ sales market has fallen for the third month in a row, with those taking part in the survey blaming a mixture of affordability constraints, a lack of stock, economic uncertainty and interest rate rises to be holding back activity to a certain degree, says the RICS.

The fall in new properties coming on the to market means that average stock levels on estate agents’ books close to record low levels. But demand from would-be buyers increased in September.

Looking ahead, over the next 12 months, respondents to the West Midlands survey don’t expect sales to grow.

Simon Rubinsohn, chief economist for the RICS, said: “There are a number of themes running through the comments of respondents this month but uncertainty relating to Brexit negotiations is at the very top of the list followed by references to the confidential remarks made by the Bank of England Governor to the cabinet.

"All of this is not surprisingly taking its toll on the sales market with the key activity indicator in the survey flat or slightly negative in all parts of the country apart from Northern Ireland and Wales.

“That said, the recent announcement from the Prime Minister that the Housing Revenue Account borrowing cap will be abolished is a bold move which over the time could help address some of the very real challenges facing those looking to buy or rent property. There is no silver bullet that will immediately resolve this problem but encouraging new entrants to deliver affordable homes is certainly part of the answer.”

Simon Penfold

By Simon Penfold
Business Editor - @SPenfold_star

Business Editor based at the Express & Star's head office in Wolverhampton, looking for stories big & small.

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