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Housing market: Surveyors downgrade outlook for 2017

estate agent erects for sale sign Image copyright Getty Images

Members of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) have downgraded their outlook for UK property sales in the year ahead.

The number of surveyors expecting sales to increase over the next three months has fallen significantly, according to the latest Rics survey.

The report was also more gloomy about the final three months of 2016.

It said sales activity had been "stuttering", after several months in which it had been gaining momentum.

The number of home-owners wanting to sell their property failed to see any pick-up for the 10th month running.

And the number of properties on the books of estate agents remained at an average of 45.8 - close to the record low of 43.9.

Rents

The number of surveyors expecting sales to increase over the next three months outweighed those thinking they would decrease by a margin of 4%.

A month ago, that margin was 18%.

However, the surveyors were more positive about the market in a year's time.

Most expected both prices and the number of sales to go up.

The survey also suggested that rents would continue to rise by around 5% a year for the next five years, because of strong demand and a shortage of properties.

In London, however, rents are expected to fall in the months ahead, before rising again later in the year.

Earlier this week, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reported that house price inflation picked up in November, rising from 6.4% to 6.7%.


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