LONDON - Bloomberg
House prices in Britain fell in May as the squeeze on mortgage lending kept declines close to the most widespread level in at least three decades, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors said.
The number of residential property agents and surveyors saying prices fell exceeded those reporting gains by 92.9 percentage points, the group said yesterday. That compares with 94.7 percent the previous month, which was the most since the series began in 1978. The reading for London was minus 90, close to the 14-year low of minus 92 recorded in April.
Banks approved the fewest home loans in at least nine years in April, preventing more homebuyers from making property transactions. Two-year British notes fell the most in 10 years Monday as traders bet accelerating inflation will force the Bank of England to raise interest rates even as the economy faces the threat of a recession.
�While demand remains weak and housing transactions continue to evaporate, there is a very real danger to the wider economy,� Jeremy Leaf, a spokesman for RICS, said.
Every region tracked by RICS showed prices declining over the past three months. In London, more real-estate agents have reported price drops than gains for seven consecutive months.�Financial woes are still the main worry affecting the housing market in central London,� said Benson Beard, an estate agent with Bective Leslie Marsh in the capital. �It is likely to remain this way until the end of the year.�