FEBRUARY 2017: UK RESIDENTIAL MARKET SURVEY RENTAL GROWTH EXPECTATIONS STRENGTHEN FURTHER
• Lack of landlord instructions drives rental growth expectations higher
• Transactions and buyer enquiries both flat over the month
• Prices continue to rise steadily at the national level
The February 2017 RICS UK Residential Market Survey shows key activity indicators in the sales market remain subdued with transaction volumes broadly unchanged for the third month in succession. New buyer enquiries were again flat and have now failed to see any meaningful growth since November 2016. Near term expectations remain positive but point to a relatively modest rise in activity in the months to come.
Respondents in most regions reported an increase in prices with the strongest growth in the North West of England and notable improvements in Northern Ireland as well. London and the North East of England remain the exceptions with momentum in the former deteriorating for the fourth consecutive month. In fact, surveyors have now reported a fall rather than a rise in London prices for a full year (with most of this activity concentrated in the inner boroughs).
Having moved into positive territory last September, new buyer enquires seem to have gradually lost steam over the past few months ending February on a flat reading. At a regional level, momentum remains strongest in the South West and weakest in the East Midlands. Meanwhile, the deterioration in the supply of new listings reported in January was confirmed once again this month.The pace at which new instructions are dwindling appears to be particularly acute in the North West of England and West Midlands.
With demand flat and the supply of new property continuing to slip, the national agreed sales indicator pointed to another steady month for transactions. Sales activity appears to have picked up in London after nearly a year of negative to flat growth. Tight supply conditions across a majority of the regions coupled with stable sales activity has led to a further erosion of available stock for sale, with the average stock per surveyor just shy of a record low. Indeed, respondents across most parts of the UK continue to highlight in their comments the supply shortage to be very dominant feature of the market at present.
The outlook for transactions show signs of measured optimism as near term expectations remain broadly unchanged. At the twelve-month horizon, respondents across nearly all areas are more confident forecasting activity to rise. Wales and Northern Ireland report the strongest expected improvements, followed by Scotland and the North West of England.
February followed the national trend with a shortage of new instructions and this helping to maintain price levels. Enquiries were also down with perhaps concerns about Brexit, the March Budget & other uncertainties
Please do not hesitate to contact me should you wish to discuss any matter regarding the marketing of your property. Oliver Miles FRICS RICS Registered Valuer