It is easy to recognise why buyer demand in the housing market has changed since the lockdown period. Many people across the country have re-evaluated what is important to them. For many households, more space and larger gardens are crucial, and this has been confirmed by the latest Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors review of the market.
63% of respondents said there has been an increase in buyer interest in the most recent month.
Agreed sales increased for the third month in a row, and there was a net balance of 61% of contributors experiencing an increase in activity. Sales expectations are still positive, although in the longer-term, 12-month sales projections are more modest.
It makes sense that people want gardens
The RICS findings confirms the shift in buyer demand when it comes to desirable characteristics. Over 80% of respondents expect the demand for properties with a garden to continue rising in the next two years. A similar rise for properties which are located near to open spaces is also expected.
It is likely there is an air of caution regarding future lockdowns, and this is driving buyer demand. If people are forced to spend a considerable amount of time at home, they will want to do so in great comfort.
RICS believes house prices will continue to increase
The RICS survey also indicates there is an expectation house prices will rise. Expanding on this matter, the RICS website news release states; “The August survey feedback points to a sharp acceleration in house price inflation. At the national level, a net balance of +44% of respondents reported an increase in prices, the strongest reading since 2016. This is up from a net balance of +13% in July and marks a dramatic turnaround compared to the reading of -33% registered back in May. What’s more, virtually all parts of the UK are now seeing prices increase.”
Key takeaways from the August RICS report are as follows:
• National house price growth indicator hits a four-year high
• Enquiries, sales and new instructions all continue to rise
• 83% of respondents foresee demand increasing for homes with gardens / outside space over the next two years while 79% predict rising demand for those properties near green space
Simon Rubinsohn is RICS chief economist, and he said; “The latest RICS survey provides firm evidence of a strong uplift in activity in the housing market which should help support the wider economy gain traction over the coming months. More of a concern is the pick-up in prices which could intensify issues around affordability in some parts of the country. Disaggregated data shows demand generally to run ahead of supply.”
Simon continued by saying; “Meanwhile the results provide a further pointer to more substantive changes taking place in household behaviour in the wake of the pandemic. Increased demand for properties with garden and near green spaces has if anything increased since we tested the water in May.”
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