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LONDON-The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors has dismissed suggestions that the housing market is going to slide from ‘boom’ to ‘bust’. In its analysis of the housing market in England and Wales from March to June the RICS says that despite signs of enonomic downturn homebuyers have not been put off, although things look likely to slow down later in the year.

RICS national housing spokesman, Ian Perry, says, “Fears of recession have been present for some time but continued employment growth, falling mortgage rates and firm wage rises have all helped sustain the housing market.’

Demand for property is still outstripping supply, which alleviates fears of a slump in the residential sector like that seen during the early 1990s when a flood of property hit the market far outweighing demand. High interest rates on money advanced on a glut of homes soon saw the property market spiral into a recesion it took over six years to emerge from.

Chartered surveyors are becoming encreasingly concerned about the prospects for the housing market later this year as economic conditions weaken. Only 3% of RICS members expect sales to rise by the end of 2001.

Perry notes, ‘There are concerns that signs of a downturn are already appearing, with a falloff apparent in new enquiries and undoubtedly this will have the effect of cooling prices. But market conditions are markedly different to those of a few years ago and we do not foresee the housing market enetring a “boom-and-bust cycle.”‘

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