A very real housing crisis on our hands, says RICS

There was the smallest annual increase in house prices in March for 16 months, the LSL Acadata survey said this morning.

But despite slower rises, average property prices across England and Wales hit a new high, averaging £275,123.

March’s property sales were up on a monthly basis, but by only 11.6% – half of what is normally expected.

Sales in the first quarter of this year were 5% down on the first three months of last year.

Adrian Gill, director of LSL’s estate agency businesses Reeds Rains and Your Move, said: “Property prices in England and Wales continue to hit new heights, yet the cogs of the machinery are flagging to the most laboured pace we’ve witnessed for 16 months.”

According to the RICS, housing stock fell for a second successive month in March, pushing prices upwards.

It said that the boost given to the housing market by Help to Buy has begun to dissipate, with activity levels slipping back.

The RICS said there is evidence that election uncertainty is having an impact on the market, but underlying the trends “is a very real housing crisis which will urgently need to be addressed by the next government”.

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