Residential market continues to lack momentum

Jessica Nangle

October 13, 2017

The residential mortgage market continues to lack momentum nationally, the RICS Residential Survey suggests.

Demand and sales both fell, with surveyors suggesting this is due to a recent shift in interest rate expectations causing a more “cautious tone”.

Of those surveyed 6% more said prices rose in September, however sentiment was negative in London and the South East for the fourth consecutive month.

Price growth remains robust across the rest of the UK however, with Wales, the North West of England, Scotland and Northern Ireland all seeing prices rise over the period.

Richard Sexton, director at e.surv, said: “The figures released today by RICS look very familiar, and similar to the last couple of months, as overall market activity has continued to remain flat.

“However, if we consider these findings on a regional basis, we are increasingly seeing a diverging picture in both growth and sentiment.

“Our recent data shows over a third of loan approvals were granted to first-time buyers in Yorkshire and Northern Ireland, which should be seen as an encouraging sign for those looking to step onto the property ladder in this region.

“However, if we step back and look at the wider picture, it’s apparent that overall market activity is not growing in part due to a shortage of stock coming onto the market.

“As we await the Autumn Statement next month, we hope to see genuine solutions to this long-running problem.”

New buyer enquiries declined during September as a net balance of 20% more respondent noted a fall in demand whilst interest from prospective tenants in the letting market saw a rise, with 10% more respondents of the survey noting a rise rather than a fall.

Agreed sales volumes also fell, returning a net balance of -15% which is the softest reading since last July during the EU referendum.

In the capital, 12 month expectations are now more downbeat than at any other point since the series was introduced in 2010.

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