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RICS: New buyer enquires up 14% in June

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) UK Residential Market Survey has outlined that new buyer enquires rose by 14% in June.

Although this is the fourth successive positive monthly reading, it does represent a noticeable moderation compared to the recent high of 43% in April.

RICS found that the net balance for new instructions came in at -34% during June, compared to -24% previously, which was consistent not only with a third consecutive monthly fall in new listings, but also points to an accelerated rate of decline.

While a net balance of +17% of survey participants still noted that the number of market appraisals being undertaken is running ahead of the comparable period last year, the net balance was +34% in April and +24% in May.

Meanwhile, the number of agreed sales picked up in June, evidenced by a net balance of +8% of respondents noting an increase; again, however, the net balance for this metric has eased over recent months, having hit +46% back in March.

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Looking ahead, near-term sales expectations are now signifying a broadly flat outlook in the three months ahead, with the latest net balance slipping to -4% from +8%.

Moreover, the 12-month sales expectations series returned a net balance of -12% during June, down from -5% previously.

Alongside this, a national net balance of +83% of respondents cited an increase in house prices over the survey period, comparable to the +82% that said this in May.

RICS noted that all parts of the UK continued to exhibit strong rates of house price inflation in June, led by robust upward pressure in Yorkshire & the Humber, Northern Ireland and Wales.

A net balance of +56% of survey participants sense that prices will increase further over the next 12 months.

In the lettings market, tenant demand growth seemingly accelerated over the month, with a net balance of +60% of contributors noting a rise, up from a reading of +48% in May.

At the same time, the shortfall in new landlord instructions intensified, as a net balance of -32% of respondents saw a decline, a deterioration on -21% previously.

Survey participants envisaged widespread rental growth going forward, with headline projections standing at +3% for the coming 12 months.

Sarah Coles, personal finance analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “Panic buyers have been clearing the shelves at the estate agents again.

“The number of new properties for sale fell for the third month running, so although buyers have come to the market more slowly, there are still plenty of them to ensure any promising new property is snapped up overnight.

“It means buyers are getting sucked into a race to make an offer, then a bidding war, and even after they secure a property, they run a bigger risk of being gazumped.

“It’s a vicious circle, because potential sellers can’t see anything they want to buy at the moment, so they don’t list.

“It means anyone who might have wanted to buy their home doesn’t have anything to buy so they don’t list either, and so on.

“As a result, prices continue to rise, and the RICS survey respondents expect more increases through the rest of the year.

“A shortage of properties, and record low mortgage rates are likely to underpin the market for a while to come.

“However, the pace of sales seems likely to slow as the stamp duty holiday comes to an end in September.

Read about the UK Housing Market via our Specialist Residential & Buy to Let Division

“Agents are erring on the side of caution, expecting a flat market in the next three months and fewer sales in the next 12 months.

“Whether this brings about a slowing of price rises, a flattening, or something more dramatic, depends on what happens in the broader economy.

“A very strong economic recovery raises the possibility of inflation and potential interest rate rises, which could hit the property market.

“On the flip side, new variants or a rise in hospitalisations that forces a return to lockdowns and closure of businesses, could damage the recovery and force job losses, which would also hit property.

“The property market flourishes in a goldilocks economy, and there are no guarantees of this as we go further through the year.

“This level of uncertainty means potential buyers need to consider all eventualities.

“If they’re buying an affordable property that they plan to stay in for the foreseeable future, and can cope with potential rate rises, then they may be perfectly comfortable.

“However, if they’ve over-stretched themselves and over-paid, this could be a good time to reconsider their position.”

Tomer Aboody, director of property lender MT Finance, added: “With a dearth of properties on the market, and demand at its highest level in a long while, quality properties are selling quickly and at increased values.

“A reduction in instructions will help continue this upwards trend as multiple buyers fight it out for their dream home and can access cheap mortgage rates.

“Values for desirable homes in particular will continue to rise in the near future while the government continues to support the market but more importantly while money is cheap to borrow.

“The government needs to assist sellers in putting properties on the market, and this could be by reforming the stamp duty for downsizers.”

Jeremy Leaf, north London estate agent and a former RICS residential chairman, said: “The market paused in June as many buyers and sellers realised they just would not be able to take advantage of the stamp duty concession before it tapered off.

“The frenzy of April and May was replaced by an opportunity for many to try to take advantage of the increased balance in supply and demand, and give themselves a better chance of moving.

“Unfortunately, supply is still not increasing fast enough, despite the faster vaccination rollout.

“Nevertheless, we don’t expect a significant correction in prices, more of a softening at least for the next few months as confidence in the economy seems to be more of a priority than worries over the ending of the furlough scheme.”

By Jake Carter

Source: Mortgage Introducer

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RICS: Buyer enquiries continue to pick up


A net balance of 52% of RICS surveyors noted an increase in new buyer enquiries in September.

New instructions coming onto the sales market also rose for a fourth month in a row, which now signifies the longest stretch of rising supply going back to 2013.

Tenant demand mostly increased, though it fell in London.

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Alan Cleary, managing director for mortgages at OneSavings Bank, said: “Evidence from the latest RICs market survey shows house prices rising strongly and tenant demand remaining firm in September, though falling a little from the high levels reached in July and August.

“Rising house prices should provide a natural support to rental growth. The immediate outlook is for a period of robust growth in overall levels of housing market activity, with transactions and prices continuing to drift upward.”

BY RYAN BEMBRIDGE

Source: Property Wire

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Property Market Activity in the UK Remains High – RICS

August 2020 saw another month of uplifts in buyer inquiries and transactions, as the UK property market continued to rebound following months in lockdown.

Summary:

  • Data from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) shows that activity in the UK property market in August continued to remain high
  • 63% of surveyors reported a rise in interest in residential property over the month, with 61% also reporting an increase in sales
  • The research also found a greater demand for properties with gardens and access to outdoor space following life in lockdown

UK property’s post-lockdown bounce back continued in August.

New figures from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) shows sustained growth in the number of new residential property inquiries and sales over the month.

This continues a period of increased market activity since it ‘reopened’ at the start of June, following the UK’s national coronavirus lockdown.

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In RICS’ August UK Residential Survey, 63% of members questioned responded by saying they saw an increase in people interested in buying a property. For the third month in succession, there was also growth in the number of sales completed; in August, 61% of respondents noted they’d recorded an uplift in new sales agreed.

And confidence amongst buyers was matched by sellers, too. A net balance of +46% of respondents reported an increase in the number of properties being listed for sale in August.

This activity has had a notable impact on property prices in the UK. According to a net balance of +44% of those that took part in the survey, house prices increased during August, up from a balance of +13% in July. The survey also found that this price growth is happening across all regions of the UK except for London, where average values have flatlined over the last two months.

Analysing the findings, Simon Rubinsohn, Chief Economist at RICS, commented: “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.”

In addition to highlighting the buoyant nature of the UK property market, the survey also picked up on some of the emerging trends in the UK following life in lockdown. Specifically, the increased demand from buyers and tenants on property with a garden, or with easy access to outdoor green space.

83% of surveyors stated that they believe properties with a garden will be in high demand for the next two years. 79% stated the same for property near to green space, and 68% agreed the next two years will increase demand for property with private outside space.

Source: Select Property Group

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RICS: Stamp duty holiday helping to lift demand

The stamp duty holiday introduced from the 8th July is helping to lift demand, The RICS UK Residential Market Survey suggests.

In July a net 75% of surveyors saw a rise in new buyer enquiries, the second month in a row that demand has rebounded significantly. A net 59% also saw instructions rise, up from 41% in June.

RICS noted that the stamp duty holiday is having a big impact on demand based on anecdotal evidence.

Ross Counsell, chartered surveyor and director at property buyers, Good Move, said: “Today’s RICS statistics reveal the UK housing market gained further momentum last month which showcases the ongoing recovery – something we’re all happy to hear after a turbulent few months.

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“We have seen an increase in new buyer queries, as well as a rise in new listings and sales. The measurements employed by the government such as the stamp duty holiday has positively impacted this spike.

“These latest statistics should hopefully help reassure buyers and sellers in the UK that the property market is starting to return to “normal”.

“However, we must not forget that we are now in a recession, therefore we advise buyers who are looking to purchase a home during the recession to thoroughly check out the property before they commit, and ask important questions such as how much work the property may need to ensure they’re protecting their finances and getting the best possible deal.

“Buyers must not get swept away in a low house price or jump at the first-rate a mortgage lender offers. Purchasing a home during this time is a big decision and one that needs to be thought about carefully.”

A net 26% of surveyors expect an increase in sales, however a net -10% expect sales to tail off over the course of the next 12 months – likely due to the stamp duty holiday expiring in March 2021.

Tomer Aboody, director of property lender MT Finance, said: “With the stamp duty holiday in place at least until March and hopefully longer, this should help support the housing market to a degree.

“No doubt there will be some negativity and a potential fall in confidence after government schemes such as furlough have ended but a possible downward trend should be eased by banks already preparing a loss buffer (HSBC), allowing them to work more closely with borrowers who might be struggling with repayments.”

BY RYAN BEMBRIDGE

Source: Property Wire

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RICS and NFB call for stamp duty holiday

The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and the National Federation of Builders (NFB) have called for a stamp duty holiday once the lockdown ends.

RICS members are expecting house prices to fall over the next 12 months – but the organisation said temporarily removing stamp duty would help quickly get the market running again.

Hew Edgar, RICS head of government relations, said: “RICS is not an organisation that would call for a stamp duty holiday on a whim.

“As we start to emerge from this crisis, however, it is likely that the finances of potential homebuyers will be under strain, and the burden of stamp duty could put buyers off.

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“For those who can afford to move they may lack confidence in the market, adding to the slow down.

“A stamp duty holiday could be one of the ways to reactivate the housing market quickly as a short term measure.”

Afterwards the NFB backed the call.

Richard Beresford, chief executive of the NFB, said: “A temporary stamp duty holiday would encourage new build sales and release some much needed cashflow back to our struggling housebuilders.

“It would also ensure vital businesses, such as surveyors and conveyancers, are able to continue operating in these difficult times. We support it.”

The National Federation of Builders also backed are campaigns to defer planning contributions and council tax on vacant new builds, as well as extend planning permissions by 12 months.

Rico Wojtulewicz, head of housing and planning policy at the House Builders Association (HBA), the housebuilding division of the NFB, said: “Housebuilders, many of whom are struggling to get lending from the government CBILS scheme, are still expected to pay bills, their staff and the supply chain but with reduced or no revenues.

“A temporary stamp duty holiday is another immediately deliverable solution that the government should pursue.

“Any delay in increasing support to our industry will see businesses go to the wall and once one goes, the domino effect will be striking.”

BY RYAN BEMBRIDGE

Source: Property Wire

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RICS reports rising demand prior to coronavirus

The RICS UK Residential Market Survey found that demand, sales and instructions all rose in February – before the threat of coronavirus likely put the brakes on activity.

Some 22% more contributors saw an increase in sales compared to a fall in February, with activity rising in every region barring Scotland.

Some 20% more contributors saw an increase in enquiries than a fall in February, the third consecutive month demand rose. Meanwhile a net 15% saw an increase in instructions.

Jeremy Leaf, north London estate agent and a former RICS residential chairman, said: “The usually reliable RICS survey suggests that house-price inflation, demand and new listings have been increasing for the past few months, which is good news, even though it is based largely on pre-virus responses.

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“It confirms what many of our buyers and sellers are telling us – that the impact will be serious but short term. Our viewings are about 25% lower than we might have expected at this time of year but sales are not being cancelled so far and we have even seen exchanges of contract immediately post-Budget.”

Nigel Purves, chief operating officer, Wayhome said: “This uptick in activity may be welcomed by those looking to sell, but it doesn’t change the fact that house prices remain too high for many.

“With the Chancellor Budget doing little more to help aspiring homeowners get onto the ladder, people are keen to see new pathways toward homeownership.

“While any support from the government to tackle supply and demand is, of course, to be welcomed – the reality is we need to see real, genuine innovation in the market to make owning a home more achievable.”

BY RYAN BEMBRIDGE

Source: Property Wire