According to the the latest RICS UK Residential Market Survey, the housing market continued to grow during October. Positive figures were recorded by surveyors on buyer enquiries, agreed sales and new instructions and prices.
With the stamp duty deadline looming and the housing market remaining open during the second lockdown, many potential buyers are trying to complete before March 2021.
For the fifth consecutive report, the number of new properties being listed for sale has risen, with 32% of respondents reporting an increase in new instructions in this report. This is the most prolonged period of growth noted in the RICS UK Residential Market Survey since 2013.
There has also been an increase in the number of agreed sales, with 41% of respondents noting an increase in transaction volumes, which remains substantially higher than the average reading of 9% over the past year.
It is expected that this positive trend will continue for the remainder of 2020, but that it will be more subdued from the second quarter of 2021 once government assistance is withdrawn.
Rics chief economist Simon Rubinsohn says: “The housing market remains very busy and despite the second national lockdown, the sense is that this will persist over the coming months and into the new year.
“However, there is understandably more caution about activity looking beyond the first quarter of 2021. Aside from the withdrawal of governments incentives, the market may also find the more challenging employment picture a significant obstacle even with interest rates set to remain close to zero for some time to come.
“That said, medium term expectations for house prices and private rents have barely been dented by Covid according to the latest survey. Indeed, the projections still point to increases likely to exceed wage growth highlighting the ongoing issue around affordability.”
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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.”
North London estate agent and a former Rics residential chairman, Jeremy Leaf added: ’The Rics figures are interesting but don’t 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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See the full RICS UK Residential Market Survey here…
This news come after data from Knight Frank, the Global Real Estate Consultants, also showed the property market continues to thrive despite the second lockdown in the UK.