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RICS Residential Market Survey April 2022

Buyer demand steady

  • The RICS UK Residential Survey for April shows a net balance of +10% of agents noted a rise in new buyer enquiries, similar to the rise last month. 
  • Agreed sales fell in April to a net balance of -9% following two consecutive months of growth. 

New instructions fall back

  • The net balance for new instructions fell back into negative territory in April (-1%) having risen last month for the first time in a year. 
  • Resultantly, average stock levels on estate agents’ book remained low compared to historical standards. 
  • The number of appraisals being undertaken over the month was said to be little changed compared to a year ago following rises in recent months.

Prices continue to rise

  • At a national level, a net balance of +80% of agents noted a rise in house prices in April, up from 74% last month.
  • All parts of the UK continue to report an uplift in prices, with notable rises seen in Northern Ireland and Wales.

Buyer demand continues to outstrip housing supply

Source: RICS

Note: Net balance = Proportion of respondents reporting a rise minus those reporting a fall (e.g. if 30% reported a rise in prices and 5% reported a fall, the net balance will be 25%).

Looking ahead

  • Respondents expect house prices to rise further over a three and twelve-month horizon, posting net balances of +24% and +62% respectively, easing on the previous month.
  • Near term sales expectations remain positive, with the latest net balance coming in at +12% (from +16% previously).
  • Further ahead, twelve-month expectations slowed for the fourth consecutive month recording a negative net balance of -4% in April. A flat trend for residential sales volumes at the national level is expected to continue.

Rental market 

  • Tenant demand continues to rise with a net balance of +52% of contributors noting an increase in April. 
  • Landlord instructions remained in negative territory at -7% although this is above the average reading seen over the last year (-17%). 
  • A net balance of +63% of agents expects headline rents to be higher in three months’ time – a new record high.

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