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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The September 2016 RICS Residential Market Survey results show new buyer enquiries increased for the first time since February, albeit the pick-up was only modest.
Alongside this, new instructions to sell slipped further, with the lack of supply firmly underpinning prices at the headline level. What’s more, price expectations rose at the three and twelve month horizons, although both indicators remain softer when compared to the start of the year.
The August 2016 survey shows a pick-up in confidence, following a significant drop in activity and price expectations in the wake of the EU vote. At the national level, both prices and sales are expected to rise over both the three and twelve month horizons as activity in the market stabilises.
During August, 12% more respondents nationally reported an increase in prices (up from +5% in July). Although this reverses a run of five consecutive surveys in which the net balance has decelerated (from a high of 50% in February), it is still the second weakest reading over the past eighteen months.
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