The latest RICS (Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors) survey, April 2011, has just been released. It shows confidence returning to the marketplace with more people putting their property on the market and the highest level of buyer demand for several months.
The report suggests that the number of people putting their property on the market in the past month has increased as property owners are tempted to ‘test the market’ because of a perception of stabilising property prices as well as the traditional perception that spring is a good time to sell a property.
The report also shows that the number of surveyors reporting that they expect prices to fall in the coming months versus the number who expect prices to rise is at its best level since June 2010.
All in all, this report suggests a relatively positive outlook for the coming months.
It’s important, as always, to note that the statistics are based on the whole of the UK and are only based on research from estate agents who are also RICS members. Nevertheless, it is a good indication that property prices are stabilising, that surveyors are more upbeat about the property market than they have been for quite some time and that property owners and buyers are more active, making for a healthier property market in general. We should remember, however, that property markets remain very local and that UK-wide statistics aren’t necessarily very informative when it comes to what is happening in your own geographic area within the UK.
This latest RICS survey is in line with our own view of the property market in Edinburgh and the Lothians. We are experiencing the best ratio of sales of properties already on the market versus new properties coming to the market in quite some time. There are still quite marked regional patterns, with more established and traditionally desirable residential areas, as well as family homes, experiencing the best of the market and more outlying, less traditionally-desirable areas faring slightly less well. Nevertheless, properties across the board continue to sell and there is certainly demand for all types of properties, with the best examples of these in terms of their interior and exterior condition being the most likely to sell quickly. As always, the property market depends massively on the confidence of both buyers and sellers in continued house price stability and reports such as the latest RICS survey that show a positive outlook from surveyors can only help to restore confidence in the property market.