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Buyer demand remains strong in the property market

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Buyer demand remains strong in the property market

A slowdown in the supply of new homes in April coupled with continued buyer demand has seen price growth accelerate, according to the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

Looking at new buyer demand, a net balance of +44 per cent of respondents to the RICS Residential Market survey saw enquiries pick up over April.

For the first time this year respondents reported new buyer demand was positive across every region.

A lack of fresh listings was the biggest concern cited by respondents – with many saying it was not nearly enough to match the interest shown by potential buyers.

Respondents reported that new instructions from owners looking to sell-up eased significantly, with the latest net balance of -4 per cent, marking a steep decrease from +21 per cent in the previous month.

On top of this, stock levels reported by estate agents dropped, with the average number of properties on their books now at 40, down from 46 in December 2020.

Unsurprisingly therefore, house price growth rose again in April – with a net balance of +75 per cent noting an increase in prices at the headline UK level.

This is up from +62 per cent in March and the highest growth seen over the last three surveys conducted.

More respondents also predicted prices going upwards over the next quarter.

Simon Rubinsohn, RICS Chief Economist, says: “Housing supply, or more pertinently, the shortfall in supply relative to demand is the key theme coming through loud and clear from respondents to the latest RICS survey.

“While it may be simplistic to assume that higher numbers alone can redress the affordability issue particularly in a low interest rate environment, an uplift in delivery does have a role to play.

“Planning reforms as outlined in the Queen’s Speech are likely to provide part of the answer although it is critical, particularly with regard to permitted development rights, that quality and safety are not compromised.”