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RICS Residential Market Survey October 2023

Buyer enquiries and agreed remain in negative territory

  • Buyer enquiries remain weak with a net balance of -28% in October, up from -37% in the previous month, but marking the eighteenth successive month in which the measure has been negative.
  • Agreed sales also remained negative, with a net balance of -25%, albeit notably less pessimistic than readings of -45% and -35% in August and September respectively.

New instructions deteriorate 

  • Fresh listings coming onto the sales market show a continued deterioration in supply, as the new instructions net balance was -7% in October
  • Respondents furthermore reported that the number of market appraisals undertaken in October was lower than in the previous year, with a net balance of -51%.

Price and sales expectations firmly negative

Source: RICS

Note: Net balance = Proportion of respondents reporting a rise minus those reporting a fall (e.g. if 30% reported a rise in prices and 5% reported a fall, the net balance will be 25%).

Prices deep in decline

  • Widespread falls in house prices saw the net balance for the headline house price metric stay critically low at -63% in October, improving marginally on last month’s reading of -67%.
  • Almost all regions of the UK are experiencing a decline in house prices, but Northern Ireland was the exception, with respondents continuing to report increases in prices.


  • Near-term sales expectations remain weak, with a net balance of -20% for sales expectations in October, up only slightly from -22% in September.
  • For the year ahead, the net balance for sales expectations was zero, pointing to a more stable long-term outlook.
  • Near-term price expectations are still in negative territory with a net balance reading of -41%.
  • Price expectations for the next twelve months were equally pessimistic at -43%.

Rental market

  • Tenant demand increased firmly over the three months to October, with a net balance of +33% of respondents citing an increase. Although firmly in positive territory, it is the most modest reading since Q2 2021.
  • On the supply front, a net share of -18% of respondents noted a decline in new landlord instructions.
  • As a result, a net balance of +53% of survey participants foresee rental prices increasing in the next three months, easing slightly from the last quarter’s reading of +61%.
  • Over the next year, rents are projected to increase by an average of 4% across the UK.

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