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Following the release of the RICS survey today, Chris Wood, Vice President of the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA), the residential sales arm of the National Federation of Property Professionals (NFOPP), said:

“The RICS report issued today illustrates that an aggregated national snapshot of the market can only tell part of any story. In order to gain a clearer picture there is a need to look regionally. We are already aware from our own members that house prices are being affected differently throughout the country so to see that the report showed an aggregate drop in house price comes as no surprise. However, there is a real need to keep this in perspective. The picture is mixed across the country and some areas will be more affected than others, so people really need to look to their local markets to get a true picture.

“One of the key issues that have been highlighted in the report is waning consumer confidence. Undoubtedly, the reduction in mortgage availability has had a huge knock on effect and both consumers and the industry need assistance from the government and relevant bodies to help relieve these current restrictions on the mortgage market. If the shackles can be removed then the flow of buyers can start to move once again.

“Finally, there is no denying that the credit crunch has affected confidence in the market – but it is still important to remember that the underlying factors that support the property market remain: low unemployment, historically low interest rates and a pent-up demand for houses. Therefore, rather than a dramatic fall that some “doom and gloom” merchants are predicting, it shows we are looking at a return to a more steady market rather than the fantastic price hikes we have seen in the previous 10 years.“

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