Promising ‘new year bounce’ for the UK housing market
Surveyors have revealed the UK housing market has benefitted from an increase in activity this new year and are cautiously optimistic of the boost continuing.
According to the latest monthly snapshop from the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), the number of people looking to buy rose in January, as did the number of properties for sale. For the second month in a row, sales that had been agreed rose also. RICs has attributed the rise to a more settled political climate now the general election has come and gone and Brexit appears to be going ahead.
A net balance of 17% of surveyors and estate agents, a measure of the difference between those registering increases and those with decreases, reported higher house prices in January, the first time this measure has been positive since July 2018. Prices rose in London and the South East, where they had previously been falling, with the strongest growth reported in Northern Ireland and Scotland.
Property experts optimisitic for the future
RICs' chief economist, Simon Rubinsohn, has welcomed the increase in properties being put on the market as it’s a ‘much needed development’ following record lows in new listings. However, he does warn that, “it remains to be seen how long this newfound market momentum is sustained for, and political uncertainty may resurface towards the end of the year.” He goes on to say that “at this point in time, contributors are optimistic regarding the outlook for activity over the next 12 months."
Other surveys have supported the trend as they too suggest that the UK housing market has improved following the general election in December. Estate agents from across the country agree that more certainy and stability in our government has contributed to the boost as well as the relatively warmer weather which encourages house buyers to go out and view potential properties. The busiest time of the year for estate agents is the spring, as buyers and sellers alike start to act on their plans to move.
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