Home sales have risen across the UK, hitting a 16-month high, according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).
It reports that agreed sales have increased at the fastest rate since May 2014 and prices have grown further across all parts of the UK, as demand continues to outweigh supply.
This is the fifth consecutive month that the RICS has recorded a rise in sales and this sixth for which an increase in demand was witnessed.
However, the RICS warns: “Although activity is picking up, the ongoing lack of new instructions and the resulting limited stock on the market continue to be an issue for the sustainability of the market.
“The number of new instructions has fallen in 13 of the last 14 months.”1
Chief Economist at the RICS, Simon Rubinsohn, explains: “The indications are that we are locked in a cycle where the lack of available properties on agents’ books is itself deterring some potential vendors from thinking about putting their own property on the market.
“Against this backdrop, it is hard not to see prices continuing to move higher over the coming months and into the early part of 2016, notwithstanding the present concerns regarding the affordability of housing in some areas of the UK.”1
The RICS has seen a similar picture for the lettings sector, with tenant demand rising, outstripping supply.
Peter Mockett, of Hilbery Chaplin Residential in Essex, responds to the findings: “Prices being forced upwards due to acute shortage of new instructions. First time buyers competing with buy-to-let investors so we welcome proposed changes in tax allowance on mortgage interest. No first time buyers, no market.”1
And John Williams, from Brennan Ayre O’Neill in The Wirral, comments: “The limited stock coming to the market is encouraging some unrealistic pricing as agents compete for market share.”1