UK housing market is lacklustre, says Rics

House keys
Image caption The housing market has suffered from a squeeze on first-time buyers

Activity in the UK housing market remains "in the doldrums" with little chance of a pick-up soon, according to surveyors.

Interest from new buyers and numbers of homes coming onto the market were "lacklustre", the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) said.

It mirrored other surveys in suggesting that the market in London was different from the rest of the UK.

Only in the capital had prices risen in June, surveyors said.

However, they did suggest that this price rise had slowed down since the start of the year.

A recent report by the Land Registry said that prices in London increased by 7.7% in the year to the end of May, taking the price of the typical home to £365,359.

First-time buyers

A growing proportion of surveyors polled by Rics expected prices to drop in the next 12 months.

"The housing market did not manage to turn a corner last month and activity remained in the doldrums," said Simon Rubinsohn, RICS chief economist.

"Although there is some positivity that the amount of sales going through is going to see an increase, it is unlikely that we will see any real movement until purchasing a property is more affordable and accessible for the likes of first-time buyers."

This group has found that lenders have been a lot more choosy over whom they offer mortgages to, declining applications to people who cannot offer a deposit or who have some black marks in their credit history.

Meanwhile, housebuilder Galliford Try said that the market had been relatively stable recently.

In a trading update, the company said that the increase in the number of its plots was concentrated in the South East of England, where the market was stronger.

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