There’s been more positive news on the housing market recently as a recent report by RICS (Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors) states that house sales are on the increase and that they have hit the highest level since 2008.
The report also reveals that some estate agents are seeing more than ten potential buyers for every property coming to market and that over the last 3 months, estate agents have sold an average of 23 properties, which is the highest figure for 6 years. Furthermore, 26% of surveyors have reported an increase in agreed sales in the 3 months leading up to April.
In correlation with the above, the UK’s property market is forecast to keep on growing strongly according to the BBA (British Banker’s Association). The BBA have stated that the numbers of approved mortgages are up by a staggering 57% compared to last year.
Much of this upsurge in house sale activity has been put down to the continuing low interest rates, the government’s help to buy scheme, more flexibility in mortgage lending and the general improvement in the UK economy. The BBA also reported that approvals for new house purchases are at their highest since September 2007 and that credit card spending has also risen, indicating an improvement in consumer confidence.
Optimism in the housing market
There are still concerns about the continuing rise in house prices (especially in London), having enough available housing to meet demand and the potential for a rise in interest rates in the New Year. In the meantime, the market continues to improve and the knock-on effect to the rest of the economy is a positive one.
The question of house prices is an interesting one. RICS have recorded that house prices rose across all regions over the last 3 months, with East Anglia and the South East recording the biggest increases. RICS are also expecting that prices will grow on average by 6 per cent a year for the next five years. Whilst rising house prices do price some people out of the market, especially first time buyers, they are also seen as an indicator of a healthy and buoyant economy.
The housing market has always been a barometer for how well the UK economy is doing and whilst there is movement, there is continued optimism.