The East of England’s housing market appears to have finally turned a corner as buyers returned to the market in their biggest numbers for four years, says the latest RICS Residential Market Survey (13 August 2013).
During July, the amount of potential buyers looking to enter the market grew at the fastest rate since July 2009, as a net balance of 45 percent more chartered surveyors reported increases in demand. Buyers have gradually been returning to the market since March this year, when the government announced the introduction of finance initiatives for first time buyers.
Consequentially, prices rose in the region for the third consecutive month and are now rising at the biggest rate since April 2007. Notably, price rises were not only confined to more affluent parts of the country such as London, but every region saw growth as we enter the end of the summer period. This follows other economic news that indicates the UK economic recovery may be starting to gather pace.
In tandem with rising buyer confidence, more potential sellers looked to test the market and place their homes up for sale. Last month, 29 percent more respondents reported rises rather than falls in new instructions. This represents a sizeable peak for the region where new buyer enquiries have remained flat since April.
Looking ahead, it seems that prices across the region are going to continue to rise further, with a net balance of 25 percent more surveyors predicting increases. Meanwhile, transaction levels are also expected to grow, as 32 percent more respondents expect sales to rise rather than fall over the coming three months.
Jan Hÿtch, RICS East of England spokesperson commented: “During the doldrums depths of the recession, first time buyers faced real difficulty in accessing affordable mortgage finance and being able to save for a deposit. This in turn undermined the entire sales chain and left the housing market stuttering along. ‘Help to Buy’ has begun to galvanise first time buyers into buying new homes, and encouraged developers to begin building again.
“Though it is too soon to speak of a full recovery, I have high hopes that the housing market has turnedis beginning to turn a corner.”
Alan Williams, Fenn Wright, Colchester commented: “The summer weather has matched the mood of the market with encouraging levels of activity and signs of strengthening confidence. The Help-to-Buy scheme has undoubtedly helped the new homes market and there is a sense of anticipation that when the scheme is expanded in them New Year to the second hand market a similar impact will be felt.”
Mark Wood MRICS, Bradshaws, Cambridge commented: “We saw extremely high volume of sales throughout July with a lack of available properties resulting in prices increasing.”