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New buyer interest rises for the first time since November 2016

A more stable trend is now emerging in the UK housing market, according to the latest results for the RICS UK Residential Market Survey.

Although anecdotal commentary from respondents remains generally a little downbeat, contributors reported a rise in buyer demand, that new instructions have held steady, and that newly agreed sales also edged into positive territory for the first time in 28 months.

In June, 10 per cent more respondents saw a rise in interest from new buyers, which is the first time since November 2016 that the survey has reported a rise in new buyer enquiries at the national level.

As buyer interest picks up, there also seem to be signs of a more stable trend in numbers of those putting property up for sale. The new instructions indicator has now edged into positive territory for the first time in a year. However, with stock levels on estate agents’ books still around record lows, and appraisals lower now than at this time last year, it remains to be seen if this change will have a material impact on the supply issue.

The newly agreed sales net balance was plus two per cent in June marking the first time in 10 months where survey participants did not report a decline, and sales expectations for the coming three months suggest that the stable trend is likely to continue. Further ahead 12 month sales expectations are also more positive.

As the market appears to settle down in terms of activity, house price movement appears to be flatlining at the national level. At the regional level, with the exception of London, the South East and East of England, all parts of the country are showing house price growth.

Contributors see this stable trend in national house price inflation continuing over the coming three months but a balance of 25 per cent more respondents are anticipating price rises at the 12 month horizon.