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RICS: Residential activity continues uptick

Jake Carter

November 12, 2020

Residential property activity continued to rise through October as potential buyers race to complete before the stamp duty deadline, according to RICS latest UK Residential Survey.

Moreover, turning to new buyer enquiries, a net balance of +46% of respondents cited an increase in demand.

The survey outlines that this marks the fifth consecutive positive monthly reading for new buyer enquiries.

New instructions coming onto the sales market also posted its fifth consecutive positive monthly reading, noting a net balance of +32%.

As a result, the average amount of properties on each estate agents books rose marginally month-on-month, from 42 to 43 homes.

Looking to transaction volumes, a net balance of +41% of contributors reported an increase in the number of agreed sales in October.

However, this figure has dropped from +54% in September, although the average reading over the course of 2019 was noted at +9%.

On a regional basis, East Anglia recorded the greatest number of contributors reporting a rise in the number of agreed sales, with a net balance of +72%.

Furthermore, looking ahead, sales expectations over the following three months are expected to decline to a net balance of +17%.

Meanwhile, over the course of the next 12 months, sales expectations are predicted to dive, with a net balance of -27% of respondents anticipating a drop in sales.

Tomer Aboody, director of MT Finance, said: “The bubble we have been seeing over the past three months is proving to be stronger than many could have predicted.

“Indeed, it is the strongest performance for the housing market in well over a decade, with prices, house sales and instructions at high levels.

“This confidence in the market derives from a combination of stamp duty relief, cheap mortgage rates and buyers’ change in working conditions which has been brought about from lockdown.

“With more space needed, borrowers are taking advantage of the highly liquid financial markets, giving them the ability to borrow where they might not be able to in a few months once the economic ramifications of lockdown really come into play.”

Jeremy Leaf, north London estate agent and a former RICS residential chairman, added: “The RICS figures are interesting, but do not give the full picture as the market quietened down a little towards the end of October/early November.

“However, it has picked up again quite noticeably in the past few days as the prospect of a vaccine has improved. This has brought more buyers to the market than has been the case for several weeks and is stiffening the resolve of some sellers not to accept low-ball offers.

“On the ground, we are seeing more buyer and seller determination to get deals done in order for both to take advantage of the stamp duty holiday.”


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