Confidence returning to the housing market

The latest Residential Market Survey produced by the Royal Institution of Surveyors (RICS) suggests that the housing market is stabilising in the wake of the EU Referendum result.

The report, produced monthly, collates the observations of surveyors across the country, and is considered to be a good gauge of confidence within the market.

Following an initial drop in prices as uncertainty over Brexit set in, RICS members are now forecasting an increase of 3.3% a year for the next 5 years. A positive net balance of 12% of surveyors are reporting an increase in prices, up from a net balance of +5% in July.

Recent House Price Index reports from both Halifax and Nationwide show only marginal changes in August, and certainly much less dramatic than expected. Figures from Halifax indicated a slight drop in house prices of just 0.2%, while Nationwide’s report pointed to an increase of 0.6%.

The survey suggests that a key factor in supporting the predictions for a continued increase in prices is a shortage of property for sale. Average numbers on estate agents books have dropped for 3 months in a row now, and levels are close to the record low recorded in December of last year.

The recent cut to the base rate and subsequent record low mortgage rates, combined with low unemployment levels, should help to boost the confidence of potential buyers over the next few years, as negotiations to leave the EU begin.



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