Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Housing market softer, retail sales slow
Posted by David Smith at 09:00 AM
Category: Thoughts and responses

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) says a net 8% of surveyors have seen house prices fall over the latest three months, compared with the net 8% experiencing rises in the three months to June. The read-across from the June 22 budget to the weaker housing market looks perfect, though other factors are also in play, including the abolition of home information packs (Hips), which has resulted in more properties coming on to the market. Compared with the period of intense housing market downturn, when all but a handful of surveyors reported price falls, this is relatively modest. But it points to a softer market in the second-half.

Retail sales also suffered a double backlash, from the World Cup and the budget. Even so, total sales up 2.6% year on year (like for like 0.5%) was not bad for July on the British Retail Consortium's figures, though a little weaker than the June numbers of 3.5% and 1.2% respectively.