Housing market: London and south east are weakest regions - RICS

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Other main findings include an increased sales expectation in August of +61 per cent - one of the most positive in the United Kingdom - although price expectations dipped back to +39 per cent, presenting a more modest reading compared to the previous month.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) said its monthly balance of overall British house prices picked up to +6 after dropping to a four-year low of +1 in July.

The housing market in Northern Ireland remained buoyant in August reflecting a general confidence in the economy according to new figures from the sector.

But in central London the reading was stuck firmly in negative territory, with 56% more surveyors seeing a fall in prices rather than an increase - marking the weakest result since 2009.

In London and the South East, surveyors were particularly likely to feel that homes on the market are overpriced.

Paul Bagust, the body's global property standards director, said: "The number of landlords exiting the market due to recent policy changes is concerning, especially given house price rises".

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Fifty-six percent more surveyors in central London reported seeing a fall in prices than reported a rise, and it was the only region in Britain where prices were expected to fall over the next 12 months.

In London, the South East, the North and East Anglia, respondents reported that asking prices were falling, while in Northern Ireland, the North West, Scotland, and the South West, the outlook was more positive.

However, the survey also reports anecdotal evidence suggesting different levels of sctivity based on price and favouring properties below £250,000.

Instructions to sell increased last month but they aren't keeping up with the pace of new buyer enquiries.

"Meanwhile, the numbers for most other parts of the country point to a rather more resilient marketplace".

Overall, the report authors described the market as "buoyant", with Northern Ireland recording the strongest growth across the United Kingdom for house prices.