Saturday, October 22, 2005

House prices are 'slowly dropping'

icCoventry Oct 20 2005
By Stephen Hallmark

House sales in Coventry and Warwickshire increased for the third consecutive month in September - but prices continue to fall. The housing market survey published this week by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has shown that prices are slowly dropping.

Chartered surveyors in the region remain cautious about the outlook for prices over the next three months. Just over half - some 52 per cent - of chartered surveyors in the area reported a fall in prices while 41 per cent said they had remained static. Only six per cent reported an increase.

Richard Franklin, a West Midlands spokesman for RICS, said: 'As we enter autumn, we are seeing the beginning of realistic house prices across Warwickshire and the West Midlands.
'The days of rocketing prices have disappeared for the time being and sellers need to pitch the price at the right level in order to sell their property.

'While sales activity has increased, it has not picked up during September as much as we have witnessed in previous years, especially in the new-build market which normally experiences its biggest sales at this time.'

Mr Franklin said the region had seen a gradual rise in demand, which had been helped by August's interest rate cut. He added: 'But buyers continue to maintain their upper hand in the market as levels of unsold property remain high, giving them more room to negotiate on prices.' "

Amidst the articles talking up the market this strikes a more realistic note.

Chris Bell

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