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Housing Market Survey Indicators Return to Positive Territory

Respondents report rising buyer demand, higher new instructions, and newly agreed sales

25% more contributors to the survey predict house prices will grow in the coming year

Contributors to the latest Residential Market Survey by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) have reported stability returning to the UK’s housing market.

Around 10% of respondents to the survey reported rising interest from new property buyers, marking the first growth in new buyer enquiries since November 2016.

Mirroring the rise in interest from buyers, the survey’s indicator for new instructions has risen into positive territory for the first time in a year, suggesting sellers are increasingly putting their homes up for sale.

However, RICS is cautious over what impact this growth will have, as it highlights that estate agencies continue to report close to record lows for stock levels, whilst appraisals have fallen over the last year.

For the first time in ten months, survey participants have reported a rise in newly agreed sales, with the indicator’s net balance increasing by 2%, with sales expectations for the coming quarter and year both hinting that this trend will continue.

Additionally, the latest survey reveals that more respondents (+25%) predict that property prices will grow in a year, despite prices currently rising in the regions beyond London and the South, as well as expectations that price growth will remain stable but flat over the next three months.

Meanwhile, declining supply in the lettings market, contrasting with solid tenant demand, is fuelling predictions that rental growth will continue to rise in the coming year.

Simon Rubinsohn, Chief Economist at RICS, said: “The latest data provides further evidence of the sales market settling down but I don't get the impression from the insight provided by contributors that this is fuelling hope of a significantly more active market going forward.

“Many of the factors that have provided a challenge during the first half of the year remain unresolved.”

According to the latest Housesimple Supply Index, the number of new property listings fell by 1.9% between May and June.

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