A new survey report has revealed that housing sales across Wales are continuing to decline.

The RICS (Registered Institute of Chartered Surveyors) UK Residential Market Survey for December 2022 asked property professionals about the activity they had seen across the month.

In December, 54 per cent of respondents said that they had seen a fall in new buyer enquiries, marking the ninth consecutive month of decline.

December’s figures see 20 per cent more respondents reporting a fall, with November’s numbers sitting at 34 per cent.

As well as this, a net balance of 59 per cent of those who took the survey said that they saw a fall in sales through the month, which RICS suggests could be due to both limited supply and limited demand.

Following this, 23 per cent said that they are expecting sales to fall further over the next three months.

There was also an increase in surveyors reporting a fall in new instructions to sell, jumping from 11 per cent in November to 16 per cent in December.

Regarding house prices, a net balance of six per cent of survey participants in Wales witnessed a fall through the final quarter of 2022.

A net balance of 62 per cent of Welsh respondents expect prices to fall at the beginning of 2023, similar to the UK average, which is 66 per cent, and 34 per cent expect prices to be lower in a year’s time.

When asked about the impact of energy efficiency ratings on buyer behaviour, 40 per cent said that they are seeing greater interest in homes that are more energy efficient.

Talking about the prices of energy efficient homes, 41 per cent of respondents said that sellers were attempting to add a premium for high energy efficiency ratings, and 61 per cent said that these homes were “holding their value” in the current market.

Anthony Filice FRICS of Kelvin Francis, commented: “There has been a slowing down of activity, but part of this is seasonal.

“Many vendors and buyers are looking forward to the new year, when activity should increase.

“Mortgage interest rates have increased overall but there are still good deals and the overall confidence in property values continues.”

Melfyn Williams MRICS of Williams & Goodwin, The Property People Ltd, said: “Property market returned to normal with typical seasonal lull.

“Enquiries are already picking up in January with positive sentiment for the year ahead, despite financial woes.”

Commenting on the UK picture, Simon Rubinsohn, Chief Economist at RICS, said: “The latest RICS Residential Survey highlights the emerging challenges in the housing market as new buyers grapple with more costly finance terms and uncertainty over the outlook for the economy.

“This is reflected in forward looking RICS indicators around both prices and activity.

“However, some signs of an easing in inflation pressures more generally could provide a chink of light particularly for those looking to take their first step on the property ladder.

“Meanwhile feedback around the lettings market once again demonstrates the need for some concerted thinking about how to create a thriving sector that caters for both the private and ‘affordable’ renter”.