Market Surveys

The UK Residential Market Survey is used by the government, the Bank of England and other key institutions, including the IMF, as an indicator of current and future conditions in UK residential sales and lettings. It is covered extensively in the media and is the leading source of market intelligence, highly regarded both by investors and across the industry.

October 2019 - Current conditions remain downbeat although the outlook appears a little brighter

The October 2019 RICS Residential Market Survey continues to depict a relatively subdued sales market backdrop, evidenced by negative readings for indicators covering new buyer enquiries, agreed sales and new instructions. That being said, near term expectations for sales activity did improve to a certain degree, and a broadly stable trend is now anticipated to emerge across most parts of the country over the next three months.

September 2019 - Uncertainty causing buyers and vendors to hesitate

The September 2019 RICS Residential Market Survey results suggest activity remains subdued across the sales market with headline indicators on buyer demand and supply slipping into negative territory. Much of the anecdotal commentary is pointing to heightened economic and political uncertainty as a contributing factor behind the sluggish picture. Significantly, forward looking metrics imply that the market is unlikely to gain impetus over the next three months, though sentiment over the twelve-month horizon does appear to be a little more resilient.

August 2019 - Respondents further downgrade near term outlook

The August 2019 RICS Residential Market Survey results point to a renewed deterioration in near term expectations, with respondents anticipating a decline in activity over the next three months. Brexit uncertainty is again highlighted as a significant factor causing hesitation amongst buyers and vendors. Nevertheless, a more stable trend in sales is envisaged at the twelve month horizon.

July 2019 - Near term expectations deteriorate slightly

The July 2019 RICS Residential Market Survey results show some of the improvement seen in near term expectations series last month has been partly reversed this time out. In particular, the outlook for prices three months ahead has turned slightly negative once more, while respondents envisage sales remaining flat over the same time frame. That said, new buyer enquiries picked up slightly for the second consecutive month, although this has yet to feed into any meaningful increase in agreed sales.

June 2019 - Steadier market in June

The latest set of results (covering June 2019) for the RICS Residential Market Survey are consistent with a somewhat stable trend beginning to emerge. Although much of the anecdotal commentary remains a little downbeat, contributors actually reported (in net balance terms) a very modest rise in buyer demand whilst new instructions to sell have also held steady over the month. In line with this, the Newly Agreed Sales series just about edged into positive territory for the first time this year. Notably, although forward looking metrics suggest the picture is unlikely to change materially over the coming three months, momentum is a little more upbeat at the twelve-month time horizon.

May 2019 - Demand stabilises in May

The May 2019 RICS UK Residential Market Survey results point to a slightly more stable picture coming through over the month. Indeed, new buyer enquiries held steady, while the negative trend in agreed sales, new instructions and prices diminished to a certain degree. Having said that, near term expectations are still a little downbeat, although sentiment on the twelve month outlook for both sales and prices still signals a modest recovery further out.

April 2019 - Market sentiment little changed following Brexit extension

The April 2019 RICS UK Residential Survey results point to overall market trends remaining very similar to those reported in recent months, with headline indicators on demand, supply and prices all still stuck in negative territory. Brexit uncertainty and a lack of available stock to purchase remain the key constraints, meaning little change in momentum is anticipated in the near term. That said, expectations are at least slightly more positive at the twelve month horizon.

March 2019 - Brexit impasse continues to challenge the market

The March 2019 RICS UK Residential Survey results show little departure from the subdued picture evident across the sales market for several months now. Forward looking indicators suggest this lack of momentum is likely to continue for a while longer, although perceptions on the twelve month outlook are a little more sanguine.

February 2019 - Brexit uncertainty considered the overriding obstacle for the market

The February 2019 RICS UK Residential Survey results continue to signal the market is struggling for momentum, with key indicators on enquiries, sales and new instructions all remaining subdued. In an extra question included this month, aimed at drawing out the most significant force holding back activity at this point in time, 77% of respondents across the UK cited Brexit uncertainty as the biggest challenge facing the housing market at present. Furthermore, 71% felt it was impacting both buyers and sellers, while only 8% were of the view that Brexit was not having an affect on either.

January 2019 - Short-term indicators point to further weakness

The January 2019 RICS UK Residential Market Survey results continue to signal a subdued backdrop, with enquiries, sales and new instructions all falling further over the month. In the near term, contributors sense little prospect of a turnaround, as concerns over the potential impact of Brexit continue to cause hesitancy, alongside affordability constraints in parts of the country. That said, while shorter-term sentiment remains downbeat, expectations at the twelve month horizon are modestly positive.

December 2018 - Near term sentiment continues to deteriorate

The December 2018 RICS UK Residential Market Survey results show the year ending on a weak note, with key activity indicators continuing to slip at the headline level. Political uncertainty is increasingly being cited as a constraint on the market, alongside the well established challenges around affordability and a lack of stock available for purchase.

November 2018 - Market activity slips further

The November 2018 RICS UK Residential Market Survey results are consistent with a weaker trend in sales market activity with headline indicators on both demand and supply edging further into negative territory. Furthermore, forward looking metrics suggest that momentum is likely to continue slipping in the coming three months, although a somewhat stable trend is expected to emerge further out.

October 2018 - Headline price indicator turns slightly negative

The October 2018 RICS UK Residential Market Survey results show the recent softening in new buyer demand beginning to feed into a slightly negative trend for national house prices. That said, the regional picture remains highly varied, with some parts of the UK still seeing fairly strong price growth. In terms of the outlook for sales market activity, respondents remain doubtful that momentum will pick-up over the coming months.

September 2018 - Sales outlook turns more cautious

The September 2018 RICS UK Residential Market Survey results show a slight weakening in national new buyer demand for the second successive report. Respondents continue to cite the mixture of affordability constraints, a lack of stock, economic uncertainty and interest rate rises to be holding back activity to a certain degree. What’s more, forward looking indicators have now turned a little more pessimistic with regards to the sales outlook.

August 2018 - Prices continue to rise in much of the UK

Amidst reports of house prices (nationally) posting the sharpest monthly decline since July 2012, it is noteworthy that the August 2018 RICS Residential Market survey continues to show stronger trends in large parts of the UK. Significantly, whilst sentiment remains downbeat in London, parts of the wider South East, and to some extent, East Anglia, the results remain more solid in other areas, with Northern Ireland and Scotland in particular standing out.

July 2018 - Landlord instructions fall as rent forecasts edge up

The most striking feature of the July 2018 RICS Residential Market Survey is the worsening trend in new instructions in the lettings sector. This was something that was highlighted in the June report on the basis of monthly non-seasonally adjusted data. However, a broadly similar pattern is visible in the preferred indicator (released at a quarterly frequency and seasonally adjusted).

June 2018 - Medium term expectations cast doubt on supply response

The June 2018 RICS Residential Market Survey results continue to point to a broadly stable picture, at least as far as the headline numbers are concerned. However, the generally subdued tone to the aggregated data is still masking materially divergent trends at a more localised level.

May 2018 - Activity indicators still point to little impetus

The May 2018 RICS Residential Market Survey results are tentatively showing some signs of stability coming through on the supply side, with the new instructions indicator moving out of negative territory for the first time in 27 months.

April 2018 - Price balance dips but demand and sales stabilise

The April 2018 RICS Residential Market Survey results show a steadier trend emerging for sales activity across the UK, with key indicators more stable relative to recent

March 2018 - Demand backdrop deteriorates further

The results of the March 2018 RICS Residential Market Survey continue to point to subdued momentum, with key activity indicators still in negative territory at the national

February 2018 - Activity indicators continue to weaken

The results of February 2018 RICS Residential Market Survey provide little sign of any material shift in sentiment amongst respondents, at least as far as the headline numbers are concerned.

January 2018 - Momentum still soft to start the year

The January 2018 RICS UK Residential Market Survey results show the year starting off in a very similar vein to the closing stages of 2017.

December 2017 - Headline activity indicators remain subdued for now

The December 2017 RICS UK Residential Market Survey results continue to display a lack of momentum at the headline level.

November 2017 - House prices remain broadly flat at the national level

The UK housing market remains flat at a headline level in the run up to Christmas, according to the November 2017 RICS UK Residential Market Survey.

October 2017 - Demand backdrop continues to deteriorate

The October 2017 RICS UK Residential Market Survey shows both demand and sales continuing to soften at the national level, with most regions displaying a flat to negative trend in the latest results. Meanwhile, forward looking indicators are suggesting momentum is likely to remain subdued, at least in the near term.

September 2017 - Activity indicators remain subdued in September

The UK housing market continues to lack momentum in September, as demand from new buyers and sales fall again and the shift in interest rate expectations contributes to buyer caution in a slowing market, according to the September RICS UK Residential Market Survey.

August 2017 - Flat headline readings mask mixed regional picture

There is an increasingly mixed picture across the UK housing market, according to the August 2017, UK Residential Market Survey. Although the headline level shows a return to growth, sentiment is less positive in prime central London and to a lesser extent the wider South East, alongside the North and East Anglia.

July 2017 - Activity in UK housing market faltering

Record low stock numbers, political uncertainty and the aftermath of tax changes are obstacles hindering the UK housing market, according to the RICS UK Residential Market Survey, with price growth and sales activity subdued during the month of July

June 2017 - Uncertainty stifles market sentiment

House price inflation dropped further in June, according to the latest RICS UK Residential Market Survey. At the same time there's little encouragement for sales activity with agreed sales declining alongside new buyer enquiries and new instructions.

This trend is also being reflected in medium term sales expectations where the twelve month indicator, while still positive, has slipped to its lowest level since the immediate aftermath of the referendum [net balance of +12%].

May 2017 - Election causing buyers to "wait and see"

Enquiries from new buyers, new instructions from those wanting to sell, and agreed sales in the housing market, have once more declined in May, according to the latest RICS UK Residential Market Survey. In addition, price growth also lost momentum and is predicted to slow further over the next three months.

April 2017 - Key indicators show little near term impetus

The April 2017 RICS UK Residential Market Survey results show momentum continuing to ebb, with sales declining slightly over the month and the new buyer enquiries series edging lower. Meanwhile the flow of fresh listings to agents (new instructions) weakened further.

March 2017 - Residential sales still lack impetus

The UK housing market continues to lack impetus, with new buyer enquiries and agreed sales stagnant in March. The number of properties coming on to the market also dropped further and consequently respondents to our latest Residential Market Survey have reduced predictions for sales growth in the year ahead.

February 2017 - Rental growth expectations strengthen further

The February 2017 RICS UK Residential Market Survey shows key activity indicators in the sales market remain subdued with transaction volumes broadly unchanged for the third month in succession. New buyer enquiries were again flat and have now failed to see any meaningful growth since November 2016.

Near term expectations remain positive but point to a relatively modest rise in activity in the months to come.

January 2017 - Landlords expected to scale-back portfolios

The results of the January 2017 RICS UK Residential Market Survey again point to a sales market that is lacking momentum, with transaction volumes and enquiries both seeing relatively little change over the month (on a seasonally adjusted basis).

Meanwhile, a shortage of supply remains a challenge in the lettings market - an issue that could worsen over the medium term - as respondents expect landlords to decrease their portfolios over the next three years.

December 2016 - Sales market struggling to build momentum

The December 2016 RICS UK Residential Market Survey results point to sales activity stuttering somewhat having appeared to be gaining momentum over recent months. The latest findings also show respondents paring back their expectations for the near term growth in transactions. 

Nonetheless, this does follow a string of reports in which confidence in the outlook improved steadily and it remains to be seen whether or not this is a temporary setback or the onset of a weaker trend.

November 2016 - No easing in housing supply constraint for now

The November RICS Residential Market Survey shows a small increase in new buyer enquiries for the third consecutive month, with near term expectations pointing to a continued, albeit relatively modest, rise in activity over the months to come.

The headline RICS price balance came in at 30% in November, it’s highest reading since April, with more respondents in most areas seeing some increase rather than a decrease.

October 2016 - Modest improvement with confidence gradually improving

The October RICS Residential Market Survey shows new buyer enquires increased modestly for the second consecutive month while new instructions remained broadly flat at the headline level. Near term price expectations increased slightly but still point to very limited growth over the months to come.

The headline national price balance crept higher to 23%, from 18% previously with respondents in all areas except London and the North East reporting growth.