Residential property sales hit ‘three-year high’

Home sales have hit a three-year high following four consecutive months of increased buyer interest, the latest RICS survey reveals. The number of homes sold in the three months to May reached its highest level since January 2010.

Surveyors in the UK sold an average of 17.9 properties over the three-month period and, while that figure is considerably down on the market peak of 2007, it adds further credence to recent reports of confidence returning to the residential property market.

Strutt & Parker’s own figures also show that current viewings are up 27% year on year, while new buyer registrations are up 17.5%.

Rozanne Edwards from Strutt & Parker’s St Albans office believes: “The great British spirit of just getting on with things is starting to have a positive effect on the market and this is represented with our encouraging viewing figures. People are not waiting for the right time to move anymore and the industry is benefiting.”

More good news is that surveyors believe more people will be encouraged to start a property search, as a net balance of 35% more respondents have predicted transaction levels to grow, marking a rise from a previous net balance of 26%.

An increasing number of would-be purchasers have been looking at residential property for sale across the whole of the UK too, with four successive months of increased buyer interest reported.

The RICS survey also indicated that prices have been edging upwards, with a balance of 5% more chartered surveyors reporting price increases rather than falls, with the kind of stability or even growth apparently spreading from the south east to other parts of the UK.

A net balance of 20% more respondents said they expect further house price growth in the coming three months. The report also found that tenant demand in the rental sector has continued to increase although the rate of growth has slowed to some extent in recent months.

Edwards concludes: “Although the market isn’t quite as buoyant as the 2007 peak, green shoots are showing and I anticipate it will remain healthy for the foreseeable future.”

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