Residential 

House prices growing at slowest pace since 2011

House prices growing at slowest pace since 2011

British house prices are growing at their weakest pace since 2011 as the prospect of Brexit weighs on the housing market, according to the Royal Institution for Chartered Surveyors (Rics).

Rics today (March 14) stated its monthly house price balance sank to minus 28 in February, the lowest since May 2011, and down from minus 22 in January.

Buyer demand fell for the seventh month in a row in February, as 41 per cent more surveyors said they had seen a fall in the number of new enquiries.

Simon Rubinsohn, chief economist at Rics, said it was clear that the uncertainty about Brexit was a critical factor for buyers and sellers. 

He said: "With little sign that the issue will be resolved any time soon, it could prove to be a challenging spring for the housing market and the wider economy."

However Alastair McKee, managing director of One77 Mortgages, said that despite the consistent setbacks with Brexit, buyer sentiment has remained strong so far this year.

He said: "I think it is fair to say that these latest findings from Rics aren't quite in line with what we are seeing on the ground at present.

"Despite the consistent setbacks with Brexit, buyer sentiment has remained strong so far this year and while politically the landscape looks set to remain a tricky one, I don't think this will have the impact on the property market that many are predicting. 

"Surveyors can be notoriously morose when it comes to relaying the health of the market as many lenders find it preferable that they don't value a property too high, so for the Rics to report such sluggish growth, in what are already tough market conditions, isn't surprising."

aamina.zafar@ft.com