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House Prices – whats happening?

Ever wondered how surveyors are able to keep on top of the market conditions and advise on property values? One of the key resources for us is seeing what has sold and analysing this against the subject property we are valuing. Helpfully, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors publishes a monthly opinion based survey, compiled with the help of hundreds of Chartered Surveyors across the country, which helps give a broader picture. The results are published the following month to give time for respondents to accurately report the figures in their local market and to allow the RICS economists to analyse them.

On the 9th May the April figures were released, highlighting a slight dip in demand, likely due to the recent mortgage rate rises, but the longer term outlook still looks positive for sales activity over the next year. The results can be broadly summarised as follows:

Buyer Demand:

– New buyer enquiries softened to -1% in April (down from +6% in March), ending a three-month streak of positive results. The drop is mostly seen in London and Southern England.

Sales Activity:

– Agreed sales showed a slight improvement, with a net balance of +5% (up from -5% last month), marking the best reading since early 2021. However, near-term sales expectations dipped to -1%, indicating a flat trend for the next three months.

Market Supply:

– A net balance of +23% reported an increase in new listings, the highest since late 2020. Average stock levels rose to a three-year high, with 43 properties per branch. The pipeline looks solid, with +20% noting an increase in market appraisals.

House Prices:

– The headline house price indicator stayed at -5%, showing a stable trend overall. Most of England saw flat or slightly negative readings, while Northern Ireland and Scotland reported rising prices. Near-term price expectations dropped to -13%, but the 12-month outlook remains positive at +38%.

Lettings Market:

– Tenant demand growth is slowing, with a net balance of +12% (down from +28%). Landlord instructions are still low at -13%, but rents are expected to rise by +33%, even though this is a three-year low for rental growth expectations.

If you are interested, the surveys are published here – bookmark the page and you can check on a monthly basis what is happening and read the surveyors comments from your local area..

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