UK housing market displays signs of recovery – RICS survey

Written by Oliver Wade
11/07/2019

Britain’s housing market displayed tentative signs of recovery in June as interest among buyers rose for the first time since shortly after 2016’s Brexit referendum, according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

RICS also revealed that net first-time buyer (FTB) enquiries reached the highest number since 2016 last month, suggesting that the London sales market is starting to settle.

Furthermore, in June 23 per cent more respondents to the monthly Residential Market Survey claimed they had witnessed a sure of interest in London property from new prospective buyers. Alongside an increase in buyer interest, more London homeowners are contemplating putting their properties on the market.

Despite agreed sales remaining negative in the month, sales expectations for the next 12 months hit the highest level since February 2017.

However, property prices in London and South East England continued to fall, but they increased across the rest of the country.

In the lettings market, rents in London are forecast to rise 2.4 per cent a year over the next five years. In addition to this, while RICS acknowledged there has been an uplift in the market, it noted that challenges in the industry remain unresolved.

Commenting, RICS chief economist Simon Rubinsohn 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.

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

“Meanwhile, feedback on the lettings market continues to highlight the impact of the policy changes announced in recent years.”

However, Unmortgage co-founder Josef Wasinski highlighted that “large number of first-time buyers are still being squeezed out of the market”, despite the modest rise in demand for housing.

“As a result, many people are forced to rent because they have no route to homeownership and little help to get that first foot on the ladder.

“The market needs to make radical strides to address the homeownership crisis by providing more choice to help people take their first step onto the housing ladder,” he added.

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