The RICS released its UK Housing Market Survey for December 2012, and things are finally looking up. Chartered surveyors’ expectations for the next quarter rose significantly.
In December, 24% more surveyors across the UK predicted transactions would rise rather than fall over the next three months. At the same time prices held steady last month, and this is the first time since June 2010 that the national price balance hasn't been negative. This year the RICS is forecasting prices will rise by 2%, and the market in certain areas of the country may have already begun to bottom out.
This new-found stability is predicted to continue, as surveyors are no longer taking a negative view of the price outlook over the next three months. This is the first time respondents to the survey haven't predicted further price drops over the following quarter since the summer of 2010. The number of homes for sale is relatively stable, but demand from potential buyers is increasing. Last month 12% more surveyors reported an increase in new buyer inquiries, and this particular reading has now been in positive territory for four months. It's no surprise to learn that prices in London increased significantly, while prices in Wales and the North East saw the largest falls. However prices in the West Midlands stabilized in December.
Peter Bolton King, RICS Global Residential Director said "As we start the New Year, confidence in the housing market does appear to be improving-helped in part by the impact of the Funding for Lending Scheme. Indeed, our members are predicting that transaction levels will continue increasing in many parts of the country. That said, more still needs to be done to ensure potential buyers can access the market at every level. Alongside this, there is still a clear need for more homes to be built."