Housing market activity in the region continued to rise in August, as those looking to take advantage of the stamp duty holiday continued their search for a new home.
Sixty-three per cent of respondents reported an increase in buyer interest across the West Midlands over the month, according to the August 2020 RICS UK Residential Survey.
However, the longer-term view remains more cautious.
As buyer enquiries continued to rise, the number of new properties listed for sale also increased, with a net balance of plus 26 per cent of survey participants noting an increase in vendors listing property to sell.
Consequently, strong growth in agreed sales was cited for a third successive month, with a net balance of plus 52 per cent of contributors seeing a pick-up.
Looking ahead, near term sales expectations for the West Midlands remain positive, but 12-month sales projections are still in negative territory, with the net balance coming in at minus 12 per cent.
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Anecdotal evidence suggests concerns over the broader economic climate continue to drive this subdued assessment.
Meanwhile, the pandemic is expected to cause a lasting shift in the desirability of certain property characteristics, as eight per cent of respondents, nationally, anticipate demand increasing for homes with gardens over the next two years.
Seventy-nine per cent predict rising demand for those properties near green space, while a net balance of plus 68 per cent foresee a rise in the desirability of properties with more private/less communal outside space.
Turning to house prices, the August survey feedback points to a sharp acceleration in house price inflation.
Across the region, a net balance of plus 52 per cent of respondents reported an increase in prices, the strongest reading since September 2018.
This is up from a net balance of plus 49 per cent in July and marks a turnaround compared to the reading of minus 27 per cent registered back in May.
Simon Rubinsohn, RICS chief economist, said: “The latest RICS survey provides firm evidence of a strong uplift in activity in the housing market which should help support the wider economy gain traction over the coming months.”
By James Pugh
Source: Shropshire Star