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RICS UK Residential Market Survey – May 2019

New buyer enquiries improved somewhat in June following disappointing results for almost a year, according to the latest RICS Residential Market Survey. Interestingly, whilst a number of their measures are stabilising, RICS notes that anecdotal commentary provided a less favourable reading than the data suggests.

Agreed sales moved into positive territory for the first time this year while New Buyer Enquiries improved markedly to +10% - the first rise since November 2016 with seven out of 12 regions reporting a rise. Sales expectations also moved into positive territory, the first rise since July 2018 whilst price expectations reporting its best result for 16 months.

Further signs of improvement was also demonstrated by a positive reading for the new instructions indicator, moving into positive territory for the first time in a year, albeit marginally at +1%. However, there is little indication that this improvement will be sustained moving forward.

Looking at the headline price balance points to a fairly flat picture for house price inflation in the coming quarters, after edging closer to positive territory in June (-1%). As in recent months, long term indicators are more positive than near term ones, with 12-months indicators reporting their strongest result in eleven months.

The lettings market continues to see fewer properties being placed on the market which have now been in decline for 12 consecutive months. Recent tax changes have been a contributing factor to the recent decline. That said, with demand comfortably outstripping supply, five-year projections for rental values indicate a rise of 3.6% per year.

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