Residential property sales in the UK are now at their highest level since January 2010, according to the residential market report from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). Activity is certainly starting to return to the market and property investment is back on the table in certain sectors. Buy-to-let is proving to be particularly popular, no doubt contributing to strong sales figures. Data shows that chartered surveyors sold an average of 17.9 properties during the three months to May.
Although not yet on par with levels experienced six years ago, sales are expected to rise over the next three months, with a net balance of 35 per cent more respondents predicting transaction numbers to increase. This is up from just 26 per cent in the last report. RICS believes this is the result of more buyers testing the market and interest has now risen for four consecutive months.
In May, 30 per cent more chartered surveyors reported rises rather than falls in new buyer enquiries. This is the highest reading since October 2009 and has been experienced across the country. Price stability is starting to spread too, breaking out of its London and south eastern confines. Bolton King, RICS global residential director, said: "Most encouragingly of all, though, is that stability is not confined purely to London and the South East, as has been the case, but is now starting to extend to areas right across the country. There is still a very long way to go until we see a full scale recovery but green shoots are beginning to sprout."
The Help to Buy scheme has no doubt had some impact on the health of the market. The Equity Loan part of the scheme, launched on April 1st, has already seen 4,000 new homes reserved. Home building is also increasing and developers have committed to increasing supply in a bid to meet demand. However, the Home Builders Federation claims the industry will need to up its game if it is going to provide all the properties needed.
- Thursday 13 June 2013