Central London property prices continue to slump in August

The performance contrasted with a ‘resilient’ performance elsewhere in the UK

Central London property prices continued to slump in August, contrasting with “resilient” performances elsewhere in the UK, according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

While values nationally posted a modest recovery from July’s four-year low, real-estate agents in London gave their bleakest assessment since 2008, RICS said in a survey published Thursday. The outlook for the city is also subdued, with prime central London the only area in which prices expectations are negative over the next 12 months.

Property prices as a whole were driven by increases in Northern Ireland, Scotland and the northwest, according to the survey. Sales have not seen any growth since November 2016, while average stock levels on agents' books are still near an all-time low.

"The latest results continue to suggest that the greatest pressure on both prices and activity continues to be felt in prime central London market," said RICS chief economist Simon Rubinsohn. "Although there are some signs that the wider southeast is also losing some momentum, anecdotal evidence suggests the impact is very location specific."


A report from Halifax this month showed house prices rose the most this year in August, possibly signaling that a slowdown in the market is easing. Still, most surveys paint a subdued picture in the wake of the Brexit vote last year.

RICS said 61 per cent of respondents felt landlords would exit the market over the coming year in light of recent policy changes that mean many will pay more tax, while only 12 percent saw a greater number of entrants. The drop in supply will see annual rental growth grow 3 per cent over the next five years, outpacing a 2 percent rise in house prices, they predicted.