All signs point to a recovery for the UK housing market, but activity remains suppressed. Peter Bolton King, Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) global residential director, explained that by historic standards, activity is still low. However, government initiatives to improve the accessibility of finance are paying off.
June was another positive month for the market, with both prices and demand increasing. The latest RICS Residential Market Survey revealed in the final month of Q2 21 per cent more chartered surveyors reported prices rose rather than decreased- the strongest month since January 2010. Prospective buyer numbers also increased, helping to inflate property values. A net balance of 38 per cent more chartered surveyors reported a rise in new buyer enquiries in June.
RICS claims this is a strong indication that market confidence is being restored and funding schemes are making a difference. In fact, demand from prospective buyers has now risen month-on-month since January, with June recording the fastest rate of growth since August 2009.
What's more, recovery looks set to continue, with a net balance of 23 per cent more respondents believing prices will rise rather than drop over Q3. Forty-five per cent more surveyors also expect sales to increase - the most positive reading in the history of series, which began in April 1999.
Mr King said: "After what has seemed like a very long wait we are finally starting to see what looks like the beginning of a recovery in the housing market." However, this doesn't mean time has run out for landlords, who have experienced something of a boom of late. Residential property investment is still a safe bet, as overall demand for rented property continued to rise in June to a net balance of 27 per cent from 21 per cent in May.
"Despite the increased interest in buying a property, our numbers continue to show that demand from would-be tenants remains firm and that rents are likely to continue to edge upwards over the next twelve months," Mr King explained. "As the cost of shelter moves higher, it is absolutely critical that the government continues to focus on its role in supporting the delivery of more new homes into the market."
- Thursday 11 July 2013