Surveyors reported that the property market, for both lettings and sales, was subdued at the end of last year.
The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has released its latest UK Residential Market Survey, covering December 2016, looking into activity in the lettings and sales markets.
Surveyors Report a Subdued Property Market for Lettings and Sales
Surveyors saw a slight drop in sales activity at the end of last year, while many are predicting a decline in volumes over the next three months.
The report shows that 1% more chartered surveyors saw a fall rather than a rise in sales in December, with just 4% more respondents anticipating an increase in sales over the next three months, down from 18% previously.
However, in the longer term, the 12-month sales outlook is much more positive, with 32% more surveyors expecting sales to rise rather than fall this year, compared with 31% in the November survey.
More surveyors are also expecting house price declines in the next three months, but, over the year, 49% more forecast growth, up from 40% in November and the strongest level seen since May 2016.
The latest official statistics, for the end of last year, show that house prices remain resilient across the UK.
In the lettings sector, surveyors said new landlord instructions were more or less flat, projecting rental growth to average around 5% per year over the next five years. However, recent reports warn that rents are close to hitting an affordability ceiling.
The Chief Economist at the RICS, Simon Rubinsohn, comments on the lettings and sales markets report: “A familiar story relating to supply continues to drive both the sales and lettings market, impacting on activity, prices and rents.
“The eagerly awaited Housing White Paper should help to create a more positive framework for new build delivery, but, with the best will in the world, it is going to take time before the resulting uplift in the development pipeline begins to impact on the opportunities for either homebuyers or tenants.”
He adds: “Meanwhile, the latest RICS survey provides further evidence that both price and rent pressures are continuing to spread from the more highly valued to more modestly valued parts of the market for good or ill.”
How do you think the lettings and sales markets will fare over the coming 12 months?