RICS: Property demand at 3yr high

Robyn Hall

May 14, 2013

During April new buyer enquiries rose by 13% month on month with 25% more chartered surveyors reporting demand for property rose rather than fell.

RICS attributed the increase in demand to the effects of Help to Buy and the Funding for Lending Scheme on the housing market.

Peter Bolton King, RICS global residential director, said: “It is encouraging to see government initiatives are having an impact on the property market.

“Help to Buy in combination with the FLS appears to be giving the market a shot in the arm. Thankfully, sales are expected to pick up over the coming months albeit from historically low levels.

“However there are some understandable concerns that the measures will also lead to higher prices.”

With supply outstripping demand the survey recorded its first positive reading for house prices since June 2010.

Newly agreed sales also improved with 19% more surveyors reporting sales rose rather than fell during April.

Meanwhile average sales per surveyor over the past three months stood at 17.1. The past two months readings on sales are at their highest levels for three years.

Despite the improving picture for mortgage lending many people are still relying on the private rented sector with the property supply continuing to struggle with demand.

As such 18% more surveyors expect rental prices to rise rather than fall but respondents predict any such rise will be less than 2% over the next year.

Ben Thompson, MD Legal & General Mortgage Club, said: “The first half of this year was characterised by record low mortgage rates . As we move into the second half, we have seen momentum continue to build in the housing market. With the number of house viewings, the number of surveys being carried out and the number of new houses available all on the increase, we can see that there is definitely growing demand. What we need now is even more encouragement from lenders in the shape of more lending so this trend can continue.”

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