Sales pick up to 16-month high as RICS warns on lack of instructions

Sales have picked up across the UK to reach a 16-month high, the RICS said this morning.

It said that agreed sales have risen at the fastest rate since May 2014, that prices have risen further across all parts of the UK, and that demand continues to outweigh supply.

It is the fifth consecutive month that the RICS has reported an increase in sales, and the sixth where it has reported a rise in demand.

However, the RICS sent out a warning signal, saying: “Although activity is picking up, the ongoing lack of new instructions and the resulting limited stock on the market continue to be an issue for the sustainability of the market.

“The number of new instructions has fallen in 13 of the last 14 months.”

RICS chief economist Simon Rubinsohn said: “The indications are that we are locked in a cycle where the lack of available properties on agents’ books is itself deterring some potential vendors from thinking about putting their own property on the market.

“Against this backdrop, it is hard not to see prices continuing to move higher over the coming months and into the early part of 2016, notwithstanding the present concerns regarding the affordability of housing in some areas of the UK.”

The RICS reported a similar story on lettings, with tenant demand up, outstripping supply.

There were 330 responses to this morning’s RICS survey, with many of the comments illustrating the tightness of supply.

Peter Mockett, of Hilbery Chaplin Residential in Essex, said: “Prices being forced upwards due to acute shortage of new instructions. First-time buyers competing with buy-to-let investors so we welcome proposed changes in tax allowance on mortgage interest. No first-time buyers … no market.”

John Williams, of Brennan Ayre O’Neill in The Wirral, said: “The limited stock coming to the market is encouraging some unrealistic pricing as agents compete for market share.”

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One Comment

  1. NewsBoy

    I have a very nasty feeling that there are only about 100 surveyors who input on this so it should be taken with a very, very large pinch of salt.


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