Buyers gradually returning to housing market, says RICS

Buyers are shrugging off post-Brexit vote jitters and are slowly returning to the housing market, the RICS said this morning.

The body said that buyer demand has increased for the first time in seven months, and that market confidence continues to improve.

However, while home buyer demand rose modestly, the number of new instructions being received by agents fell once again in September.

As a result, the average level of stock on estate agents’ books remains close to historic lows at just over 45 properties.

The RICS said the drop in housing supply alongside the increase in buyer demand is expected to push up prices somewhat in the near term and by rather more in the longer term.

However, there remains a greater level of caution in central London where prices are expected to fall, albeit only modestly, over the same period.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that uncertainty following the EU vote, along with Stamp Duty changes, are both continuing to adversely impact the top end of the market in particular.

Simon Rubinsohn, RICS chief economist, said: “The market does now appear to be settling down. Buyers do appear to be returning, albeit relatively slowly, but the big issue that continues to be highlighted by respondents is the lack of fresh stock on the market.

“Although this is not a new story, it is a significant one, having ramifications for both prices and the level of turnover.

“Central London remains something of an exception with contributors telling us this is the one part of the market where there may be further give on prices in the near term. Elsewhere the price trend still seems on the up.”

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