RICS seeks ‘coherent’ housebuilding strategy

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors has called for the Government to come up with a “coherent and co-ordinated housebuilding strategy” as supply issues continue to dog the market.

The professional body’s latest residential market survey shows that, in July, 44 per cent more chartered surveyors reported a rise in prices than a fall.

Moreover, a net balance of 22 per cent of surveyors reported a drop in new-vendor instructions – the sixth consecutive monthly fall.

A net balance of 47 per cent of respondents expect house prices to keep rising in the next quarter. But rising prices have not dampened interest as new-buyer enquiries rose for the fourth month in a row, with 25 per cent of respondents reporting a rise in demand.

RICS head of policy Jeremy Blackburn says: “This Government has put homeownership at the heart of its agenda, with Starter Homes and extending Right to Buy the strongest evidence of that ambition.  However, this continues to be demand driven and fails to address the real issue of supply.

“A coherent and co-ordinated housebuilding strategy is required across all tenures. This should include measures that will kick-start the supply side, such as mapping brownfield, addressing planning restrictions and creating a housing observatory to assess the underlying economic and social drivers of housing and provide the impetus for solutions.

“The changes brought in through Fixing the Foundations, the Chancellor’s productivity plan, were welcome and refreshingly on the supply side. But these alone are not a strategy for increasing housing supply across all tenures.”