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Good Morning! Some (more) Bear Foof For Breakfast?

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The housing market slowdown is deepening, with prospective homebuyers abandoning the market at the fastest rate in over four years, new figures show.

House prices have fallen for the second month running and the market is showing worrying signs of a downturn, according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). It says the number of new buyers is falling at the fastest rate since early 2003.

The warning, in its closely-followed monthly survey of the market, will heighten fears that the property market is heading for a slump in the coming years.

The survey ? which is forward-looking compared with house price indices such as Nationwide's which are retrospective ? shows that new buyer enquiries dropped for the tenth consecutive month, with 51pc more Chartered Surveyors reporting a fall than a rise.

It also shows 14.6pc more chartered surveyors reported a fall than a rise in house prices, down from 3.3pc reporting a fall in August. This is the biggest fall since September 2005.

RICS spokesman, Jeremy Leaf, said: "The combination of rising interest rates, the introduction of Home Information Packs and volatility in the financial markets resulting in tightening of lending criteria have affected the confidence of buyers and sellers.

"As a result, some would-be buyers are turning to the rental market whereas others, conscious that the next move in interest rates is now likely to be down rather than up and market meltdown is highly improbable, are seizing the opportunity to negotiate with more flexible vendors in a less competitive market-place."

Many of the surveyors said the Northern Rock crisis was having a marked impact on buyers' optimism.


'14.6% more chartered surveyors reported a fall than a rise in house prices down from 3.3pc reporting a fall in August.'

What does this mean?

More garbled obfuscation from RICS.

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