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RICS Residential Market Survey September 2023

Buyer enquiries and agreed sales decline

  • Buyer enquiries remain weak with a net balance of -39% in September. 
  • Agreed sales also remained negative, with a net balance of -37%, albeit less pessimistic than August’s reading of -46%.

New instructions deteriorate 

  • Fresh listings coming onto the sales market show a continued deterioration in supply, as the new instructions net balance was -17% in September. 
  • New instructions have reportedly fallen in each of the last three months, seeing average stock levels on estate agents’ books staying broadly steady at 38 since July.

Price and sales expectations remain in decline

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 -69% in September, virtually unchanged from August’s reading of -68%. 
  • Almost all regions of the UK are experiencing a decline in house prices, but the West Midlands and the South East are facing the most downward pressure with net balances of -94% and -91% respectively.


  • Near-term sales expectations remain weak, with a net balance of -24% for sales expectations in September, although this is up from -36% in August. 
  • For the year ahead, the net balance for sales expectations was +3%, significantly more positive than the -5% reading in August, pointing to a more stable long-term outlook.
  • Near-term price expectations are still negative territory with a net balance reading of -48%, but this is more promising than last month’s reading of -65%. 
  • Price expectations for the next twelve months were marginally more optimistic than in previous months, with a net balance of -33%, but remain firmly in negative territory.

Rental market

  • Tenant demand increased firmly over the three months to July, with a net balance of +43% of respondents citing an increase. 
  • On the supply front, a net share of -24% of respondents noted a decline in new landlord instructions. 
  • As a result, respondents are foreseeing a 5% growth in rental prices across the UK over the next twelve months.

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