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RICS: Respondents note 20% rise in buyer enquiries

Respondents noted a 20% rise in buyer enquiries in February, marking the third consecutive month of growth, according to RICS Residential Market Survey.

The survey shows that new homes coming onto the sales market increased for the third straight month, with new instructions seeing a net balance rise of 15% last month.

The West Midlands and South East led the way recording the greatest bump in new properties coming onto the market.

As a result of strong demand, the number of contributors reporting house price growth was 29%, up from 18% in January.

The data outlines that there was growth in all regions of the UK.

London, Yorkshire and the Humber and East Anglia reported the strongest increase in house prices.

Furthermore, 22% of contributors are predicting house prices to continue to rise further over spring.

Almost two thirds, 61%, of survey participants believe more homes will be sold as the year progresses.

However, property professionals have raised concerns regarding the impact of Coronavirus, which could affect the viewing of properties, according to RICS.

Looking to residential lettings, this area of the market noted a rise in prospective tenants, despite the number of properties listed by landlords falling.

The survey expects to see rents rise by 2%, and up to 3% per annum by 2025.

Simon Rubinsohn, chief economist, RICS, said: “It is encouraging that the results of the latest survey continue to show a positive trend both in terms of potential buyer interest and new instructions to agents.

“Indeed, this is the first time since 2014 that new supply to the market on the RICS indicator has increased for three consecutive months.

“Inventory levels are still at historically low levels despite this but the firmer trend in appraisals suggests that the picture could improve over the coming months providing the coronavirus doesn’t become more of an inhibitor of activity in the sector.

“For now at least, feedback around expectations are consistent with activity levels continuing to strengthen albeit relatively modestly.”

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