The UK property market is witnessing the return of buyer confidence, according to new research. The latest Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors' (RICS) housing market survey revealed that investment interest grew in November across most parts of the UK, indicating that the sector may finally be on the up.
RICS noted that enquiries from would-be buyers have now grown steadily since the end of the summer, registering a net balance of +11 per cent. While demand may still be at an historic low outside of the capital, a greater number of property investment deals could be on the cards from those in a financial position to test the market.
However, the number of residential properties going up for sale remained relatively flat last month, with a net balance of +4 per cent. This comes on the back of very little movement in new instructions over the last two years, which has contributed to the "anaemic" state of the market, according to RICS analysis. Nevertheless, the recent government announcement of funding to help free up land for development in England has given hope that this stagnation will turn around in the coming years, increasing availability.
The slowdown in price drops is also promising, with only modest falls noted in most areas of the country. Only nine per cent more chartered surveyors noted price plummets in November than October, suggesting a degree of stabilisation. Once again, London bucked the trending registering a net balance of + 40 per cent in property prices.
Across the market, there are signs of growing activity levels, and 14 per cent more chartered surveyors told RICS that they were optimistic that this improvement will continue in November. Peter Bolton King, RICS global residential director, stated: "There is certainly some optimism creeping back into the housing market, and it is encouraging to see an increase in potential buyers across parts of the country where the market has particularly suffered in recent years. That said, there is still a long way to go and the long standing barriers to home ownership are still very much a problem for the likes of first time buyers."
- Saturday 15 December 2012