The housing market outlook has is showing signs of improvement, according to surveyors, with overall increases in buyer demand, newly agreed sales and new instructions to sell in January
Surveyors reveal a “modestly brighter” housing market outlook, with increases in buyer demand, newly agreed sales and new instructions to sell in January.
Previously, according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics), property professionals had seen a decline in demand, sales and instructions. In January, 7% more professionals reported an increase rather than a fall in new buyer enquiries, compared to December when a balance of 3% saw buyer enquiries drop, not rise.
This is the highest level of demand since February 2022, Rics said. In terms of agreed sales, a net balance of 5% saw a rise whilst a balance of 5% reported a decrease in December.
January also saw a small uplift in the number of new instructions being listed on the sales market, with a net balance reading of 11%. Stuck in negative figures for much part of the past years, this was the most positive measure since March 2021, says Rics.
A balance of 18% of professionals reported falling house prices overall. London shows a more stable trend for prices in January, added Rics. Professionals from Scotland and North-West England have also reported flat house price trends recently. The renting market saw a rise in the demand for tenants while there were less instructions from landlords.
This unbalance is expected to drive rental prices up in the next months, states the report. Senior economist at Rics, Tarrant Parsons said: “The UK housing market has seen a continued improvement in buyer activity through the early part of the year, supported by the recent easing in mortgage interest rates.
“Although sales volumes through much of the year ahead are likely to remain relatively subdued compared to the longer-term average, the outlook has now turned modestly brighter on a consistent basis over the past few survey reports.” However, he did warn that mortgage affordability continues to be a big challenge and unexpected inflation changes could increase interest rate expectations.
He added: “That would then pose a significant risk to any prospective recovery in the months ahead, even if the current prognosis is for the market to see a further pick-up in activity levels.”