House price ‘tide may have turned’ after 11 months of falls finally end
For the first time since July 2018, property professionals have said demand from buyers isn't falling, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) said.
"The outright declines in the interest of new buyers in purchasing a home showed signs of stabilising May, in the wake of decision to extend the deadline for withdrawal from the EU till the end of October," Rics said.
Rics said new buyer inquiries were "virtually unchanged" in May compared with the previous month.
Brian Murphy, head of lending for the Mortgage Advice Bureau, said: “The tide may have turned in terms of the previously negative trend around buyer enquiries leading.
He added: "The suggestion is that those buyers who’ve up until now been waiting for a Brexit denouement have, understandably, decided that they are no longer able to put their property plans on hold and have therefore opted to purchase regardless."
In other signs the market is becoming slightly more stable, the number of sales being agreed, new homes coming on the market and house prices also improved, Rics said.
Simon Rubinsohn, Rics chief economist, said: "Some comfort can be drawn from the results of the latest Rics survey."
But he said another significant point made by those surveyed "is that there continues to be considerable emphasis on the need for realistic pricing on the part of vendors".
But that doesn't mean it's time for estate agents to crack open the Champagne quite yet.
Surveyors' near-term expectations for the housing market are still a little downbeat, although expectations for the next 12 months for house sales and prices signal a "modest recovery", the report said.
"Whilst today’s report might spark a degree of excitement in some quarters of the industry, we also know that consumer sentiment can quickly change so until such times as we’ve seen a consistent trendline it wouldn’t be wise to suggest that this is the pivotal turning point for the market this year," Murphy said.
"It’s possible to also suggest that once a new Prime Minster is installed in Downing Street and more clarity is achieved around Brexit, the longer term forecast from Rics of a modest overall upturn in values may well turn out to be the case. In the meantime, the existing market fundamentals will hopefully mean that the current stable conditions continue.”
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