RICS: House sales drop 40%
Housing sale levels are down 40% compared to five years ago, according to RICS. Yet the figures are not as gloomy as the trade body makes out.
House sales dropped by 40% in May compared to five years ago, new figures from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) have revealed.
May is traditionally a strong month for the property market. Yet fewer than four homes a week were sold throughout last month. An average of just 15.6 sales were recorded by RICS’s member surveyors, compared to 25.4 sales in May 2007.
It’s not just the month of May that makes for grim reading either, according to RICS. In the three months to May, surveyors saw only 23.1% of the properties on their books sell. Back in May 2007, that figure was just shy of 41%.
RICS is very keen for us to see the current situation in contrast to the market’s peak. But if you look back year-on-year, it’s not quite so bad. Indeed, last May, the average number of sales was actually lower at 14.7, having fallen 3.4% from the month before.
Looking at 2010 figures, activity in May is down, but not hugely. In May 2010 surveyors saw 16.6 properties sell on average. That’s one extra sale in the month for each surveyor, hardly the cause for hysteria. And the sales-to-stock ratio was 27%, less than four percentage points more than its current figure.
So why is RICS so determined to beat us over the head with the fact that things are not as good as they were in 2007? Let me know your thoughts in the Comment box below.