How bad was the Olympics for the property market?

Valuations activity remained high during the 2012 Games

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The Independent Online

Activity in the UK housing market held up reasonably well during August despite the public concentration on the Olympics, according to the latest figures from the RICS.

The amount of potential buyers looking to view property saw a slight dip while the number of new instructions was effectively unchanged on the July figure.

"Little changed in the housing market last month," said Ian Perry, RICS spokesperson. "Despite the Olympics taking centre stage throughout much of August, it didn’t have any real impact on the proportion of sales going through. Understandably, the amount of people out looking at property fell away slightly but, generally speaking, demand held up fairly well."

Indeed, according to the latest Housing Market Activity Report by Connells, the valuations market experienced a seasonal dip in August The total number of residential valuations conducted by Connells during the month fell by 10 per cent compared to July. However, despite the drop, activity remained higher than a year ago, with 1 per cent more valuations than in August 2011. 

“The housing market is traditionally slower in August," said John Bagshaw, Corporate Services Director of Connells, "and this year proved no exception as the summer holiday season took its toll on the number of buyers looking to move. This seasonal drop-off was exaggerated by the Olympic focus, on top of the ongoing squeeze on lending, although this was not as great as many had expected.

“However, it is encouraging that despite the monthly dip, valuations activity remained higher than a year ago, and is already showing signs of bouncing back in September despite the difficult borrowing conditions.”