House hunters are returning to the market, says RICS

Real-Estate-Agent-House-For-Sale-London-700.jpgHouse hunters are returning to market after June’s Brexit vote but they face a lack of purchase options as the supply of available homes remains restricted, according to surveyors.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors latest research found that demand has increased for the second consecutive month.

Across the country, 10 per cent more respondents reported rise in homebuyer interest in October than a fall.

The number of properties on the market dropped, and while prices are reported to have risen at the national level, respondents in central London report the eighth consecutive drop in prices.

Nationwide, 23 per cent more respondents seeing growth, rather than a decline, up from a net balance of +18 in September, whereas London saw the eighth consecutive monthly decline with 16 per cent more respondents reporting a fall rather than rise in prices. This figure reflects the situation in inner London rather than the outer boroughs, many of which are still seeing significant price growth.

RICS says the “dire shortage” of available housing across the UK is continuing to push prices upwards, regardless of the uncertainty linked to the ongoing discussions surrounding Brexit. We are only weeks away from the Autumn Statement and it will be interesting to see what measures – if any – the Chancellor will put in place to increase housing supply and create a more affordable market.

RICS chief economist Simon Rubinsohn says: “As activity recovers post-EU referendum, agreed sales rose marginally across the UK with 5 per cent more chartered surveyors seeing activity rise rather than fall in October.

“Expectations for the months to come have also improved with a net balance of 25 per cent of respondents forecasting a rise in transaction levels across the UK as a whole – all regions reflect this trend.”

Legal & General Mortgage Club director Jeremy Duncombe says: “It has certainly been a year of surprising results across the political scene, and though the shock of Brexit may have raised concerns, surveyors have clearly now had time to step back and look at the bigger picture.

He adds: “However, with major political changes on the agenda, brokers would do well to ensure any external factors that could impact the housing market are included in the conversations they are having with their clients.

“That way, advisers can put themselves in the best position to help eradicate any unnecessary confusion or uncertainty that clients may be harbouring.”

E.surv director Richard Sexton says: “As the Autumn Statement approaches, many will hope that the Chancellor can address these deep-rooted issues in our housing market.

“Above all else, we need to close the gap between supply and demand and bring home ownership back into reach for the hard-working Britons.”