The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) UK residential market survey has been published, and can be seen here.
They report that new buyer enquiries is reduced on a seasonally-adjusted basis, but has shown improvement on last month. As they put it ‘it is also the least negative result since July of last year.’
Sam Rees, RICS’ senior public affairs officer, commented that they were emphasising ahead of the spring budget the critical role housing has to the UK economy, and the need to boost supply through new builds and commercial property conversions where appropriate, while conforming to the strictest standards.
“RICS supports efforts to improve the energy efficiency of homes and the continuation of the government’s Energy Price Guarantee,” Rees stated. “Further fiscal intervention for consumers and businesses is required to scale up the retrofitting of UK homes, and we welcome initiatives such as ECO+ that go some way in delivering such needs.”
House price expectations can be seen on the Bloomberg newsletter:
For the rental market, they found that tenant demand has increased by 32% from January.
However, the organisation points out that while tenant demand is high, more landlords are selling up over fears of regulation changes that will restrict a landlord’s options.
Rents are also continuing to rise and the organisation predicts the average annual growth rate will be more than 25% in the next five years.
Landlord instructions are also in decline, although at a lesser pace than in the recent months at -13%.
Jeremy Leaf, north London estate agent and a former RICS residential chairman, commented “Supply is slowly improving partly in response to last year’s sharply rising rents, but is still not sufficient to meet demand, particularly for one- and two-bedroom flats. On the other hand, we’ve also seen concerns about the cost-of-living keeping a lid on spiralling rents.’
Tenants may be increasingly feeling the pinch, but many landlords believe they have no option but to increase rents to meet higher mortgage repayments and/or building costs in particular.”
Rees, meanwhile, stressed that with rising rents and diminishing housing stock in the private rental sector, the government must do more to support landlords who are leaving the market due to increasing cost and regulation challenges.
“Landlords continue to raise concerns with RICS on the lack of clarity and financial support from government to meet expensive energy efficiency improvement targets which is further pressuring landlords into exiting the sector,” he said.
“RICS would also encourage the government to restore the Local Housing Allowance to the 30th percentile to support those private renters who are struggling with rising rents.”