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RICS Residential Market Survey February 2024

Key Trends

  • Buyer enquiries have continued to strengthen, maintaining a net balance reading of +6% for the second consecutive month, indicating sustained upward momentum in buyer demand. This marks a significant improvement compared to the previous period when buyer enquiries were in negative territory. 
  • Agreed sales, while still negative at -3%, reflect a stronger trend in sales volumes compared to the past twelve months, suggesting a gradual recovery in the sales market. 
  • New instructions to sell have seen a solid rise, with a net balance of +21% reported in February, the highest reading since October 2020. This is a stark contrast to the continuously negative trend observed throughout 2023, indicating a potential increase in supply in the housing market. 
  • Average stock levels on estate agents' books increased to 42 properties, the highest since February 2021, suggesting more supply may become available on the market. 
  • The downward trend in headline house prices appears to be stabilising, with the latest net balance of -10% signalling a moderation in the decline. This is the least negative figure recorded since October 2022, indicating a potential turnaround in the market sentiment. 
  •  Near-term sales expectations have moderated slightly with a net balance of +6%, down from +12% in the previous survey. However, respondents still anticipate further momentum in sales activity over the coming year, with a net balance of +42%.
  •  Looking ahead, a significant net balance of +36% of respondents across England and Wales expect house prices to return to growth within the twelve-month time horizon, indicating growing confidence in the market's recovery.

Price and sales expectations stabilise

Source: RICS

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