Buyer numbers in the UK have reached a four-year high, according to the latest Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) Residential Market Survey. Experts believe the market has finally turned a corner, as activity soared in July to levels not experienced since 2009. Throughout the month, 53 per cent more surveyors reported seeing a rise in the number of potential buyers looking to invest in property, showing how demand is starting to gather pace.
Things have been looking up since the start of the year, with buyers cautiously testing the market with the support of government finance initiatives. Growth occurred in each region in the UK too, as the recovery spreads from the south-east across the rest of Britain. In what was a welcome turnaround, the West Midlands and the north-east - two regions that have witnessed the biggest losses since the market crash - experienced the biggest increases in buyer activity.
Rising demand helped prices increase in the country for the fourth consecutive month, growing at their fastest rate since the market peak of November 2006. This wasn't confined to affluent areas either, but the gap between London and the rest of the country remains stark.
Nevertheless, now is certainly a time to focus on the positives, with buyer confidence rising and more sellers looking to enter the market. In July, 15 per cent more respondents reported rises rather than falls in new instructions - a reading that has now been in positive territory for six months.
Peter Bolton King, global residential director at Rics, said: "These results are great news of the property market as it looks like at long last a recovery could be around the corner. Growth in buyer numbers and prices have been happening in some parts of the country since the beginning of the year but this is the first time that everywhere has experienced some improvement. It is clearly good news that those parts of the property market that were struggling are at last showing some signs of life."
- Thursday 15 August 2013