SIGNS that the housing market is “over the very worst” and is set for a spring pick-up have been reported
SIGNS that the housing market is “over the very worst” and is set for a spring pick-up have been reported by surveyors.
House sales across the UK look set to increase in the coming months, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) said, as it released its housing market survey for December. And 24 per cent more surveyors across the country predicted that transactions will increase rather than decrease over the next three months.
Prices held steady in December, and 12 per cent of surveyors reported increases in new buyer inquiries. RICS’ new findings add weight to its previous forecasts that prices will rise by two per cent in 2013 and provide evidence that the market has started to “bottom out”.
London, which has had strong demand from overseas buyers, continued to buck the general trend by recording relatively strong price growth, while Wales and the North East saw the biggest declines. In the West Midlands, prices stabilised last month — the first time in more than two years that prices there have not fallen.
The number of mortgage approvals to home buyers has been climbing in recent months, suggesting that a multi-billion-pound Government scheme to kick-start lending is having an impact.
The Funding for Lending scheme, which gives lenders access to cheap finance, was launched in August and since then there has been a sharp increase in the number of mortgages on the market.
Peter Bolton King, RICS global residential director, said: “As we start the New Year, confidence in the housing market does appear to be improving.Our members are predicting that transaction levels will continue increasing in many parts of the country and it may be that we are now over the very worst. That said, more still needs to be done to ensure potential buyers can access the market at every level.”