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Highest Buyer Demand in Four Years in UK Housing Market

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    Housing Market Looks Set for a Positive Spring With Plenty of Activity

    The UK property market continues to turn a corner in 2024 with yet another piece of optimistic news regarding buyer demand.

    Demand was low in 2023 due to external economic factors affecting the housing market, but buyer demand has started to grow alongside supply levels.

    With mortgage rates becoming more affordable than they were during the last 12 months, it’s no surprise that buyer demand is on the up. As such, buy-to-let investors could take comfort that many other buyers feel more optimistic about the market moving forward.

    A recent Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) analysis looked at buyer interest in the 2024 market.

    Let’s dive into the news and see what it means for UK real estate investment.

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      What Is Buyer Demand Like in the UK Housing Market?

      According to RICS, the property market is enjoying a much-awaited boost this spring.

      In their latest UK Residential Survey for March 2024, RICS indicates an improvement in various aspects such as buyer interest, sales, and house prices.

      Buyer interest continues to climb, with a net balance of +8% of respondents reporting an increase in new inquiries during March – marking the most positive result since February 2022.

      On the supply side, there’s been a steady rise in new listings entering the market for the fourth consecutive month, with a net balance of +13% of respondents observing an uptick in new instructions in March.

      The report notes that agents are conducting more appraisals, which may lead to more listings in the upcoming weeks and months.

      Looking ahead, respondents anticipate further growth in activity in the coming months, with a net balance of +13% predicting an increase in sales volumes over the next three months, compared to +6% previously. Similarly, for the next 12 months, a net balance of +46% of respondents forecast an uptick in sales activity, up from +42% in February.

      Moreover, the downward trend in house prices has been slowing down for the seventh consecutive month, shifting from a net balance of -67% in September 2023 to -4% in March. According to the report, this indicates a more stable outlook for house prices across the UK.

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      How Did RICS Respond to the Data About Buyer Demand?

      Senior economist for RICS, Tarrant Parsons, said: “Demand continues to recover gradually across the UK housing market, with new buyer enquiries rising for a third month in succession according to the latest survey feedback.

      “With the inflation backdrop turning a little less difficult of late, this has led to expectations that the Bank of England will be able to start lowering interest rates later in the year. This should continue to support the market to a certain degree going forward.

      “In keeping with this, near-term sales expectations point to an improving outlook, albeit the scope for an acceleration in activity will still be relatively limited given mortgage rates are set to remain much higher than in 2020/21.”

      If you’d like to know more about buy-to-let, read some of our handy area guides, including our pages on investment properties for sale in Islington and off-plan property in Kingston Upon Hull.

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      Dale Barham

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      Dale is a property content writer at RWinvest. Keeping a close eye on the UK property market, Dale helps our readers stay informed and up to date on the latest market news and statistics.