New figures released by property professionals have revealed that the Welsh housing market has been “weak” throughout the past month.
The data, from the RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) Residential Market Survey, shows that although more homes are thought to be coming onto the market, there has been a fall in buyer demand.
The figures show that there was a net drop of 46 per cent for new buyer enquiries in February, while there were a recorded 52 per cent fewer newly agreed sales in the period.
However, there was an increase in new instructions to sell, with 12 per cent more homes being listed for sale - the second month of growth in a row.
Members of RICS are remaining “cautious” in their outlooks for the next quarter, but are predicting a net balance of zero over the next year, indicating a flat sales picture.
Tarrant Parsons, senior economist, commented: “The housing market continues to adjust to the tighter lending climate, with stretched mortgage affordability still weighing heavily on activity.
“Given the ongoing weakness in demand, house prices remain on a downward trajectory, and are expected to see further falls through the first half of the year at least.
“Going forward, near-term expectations suggest market activity will remain generally subdued over the coming months, although the latest survey feedback shows tentative signs that the ongoing decline in buyer enquiries is now moderating”.
Anthony Filice FRICS of Kelvin Francis, Cardiff, said: “The numbers of viewings are fewer, but those looking are serious. A healthy number of sales are therefore being agreed, many at full asking prices, or near.”
Melfyn Williams MRICS, of Williams & Goodwin The Property People in Anglesey & Gwynedd, said: “Looking forward to the Spring market when we anticipate the traditional time of year for an upturn in activity. The market as expected though is more price sensitive now.”