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New buyer enquiries increase at fastest rate in over a year

Date online: 11/06/2015

While 34% more surveyors saw prices rise in May (the same month in which the Nationwide Building Society estimated that the average price of a home in the UK has now climbed to £195,000), supply to the market declined for the fourth consecutive month with 19% more surveyors reporting a drop in new instructions.

Despite the rise in new buyer enquiries, which increased from a net balance of 4% in April to 18% in May, many respondents to the survey expressed some surprise at the lack of 'post-election bounce' in fresh supply following the unexpectedly decisive outcome to the poll. The North West and London saw the sharpest drop in instructions compared with April. More ominously, UK-wide listings have now failed to see any meaningful growth since the middle of 2013.

Additionally, although respondents' reported a slight improvement in credit conditions with higher perceived loan to value ratios on mortgages to first time buyers and existing home owners, the average number of newly agreed sales per surveyor rose only very marginally to 19 (down from 23 in May 2014 and up from 18.9 in April 2015).   

At a regional/country level, unbalanced price growth continues to be particularly marked across the market. Surveyors reported the highest price growth over the last three months in the North West, Northern Ireland, East Anglia and the South West, but alongside this, London is now seeing a slight turnaround, following seven consecutive months in which the net balance for prices was in negative territory, it has now been positive for two months in succession.

While 34% more surveyors saw prices rise in May (the same month in which the Nationwide Building Society estimated that the average price of a home in the UK has now climbed to £195,000), supply to the market declined for the fourth consecutive month with 19% more surveyors reporting a drop in new instructions.

Despite the rise in new buyer enquiries, which increased from a net balance of 4% in April to 18% in May, many respondents to the survey expressed some surprise at the lack of 'post-election bounce' in fresh supply following the unexpectedly decisive outcome to the poll. The North West and London saw the sharpest drop in instructions compared with April. More ominously, UK-wide listings have now failed to see any meaningful growth since the middle of 2013.

Additionally, although respondents' reported a slight improvement in credit conditions with higher perceived loan to value ratios on mortgages to first time buyers and existing home owners, the average number of newly agreed sales per surveyor rose only very marginally to 19 (down from 23 in May 2014 and up from 18.9 in April 2015).   

At a regional/country level, unbalanced price growth continues to be particularly marked across the market. Surveyors reported the highest price growth over the last three months in the North West, Northern Ireland, East Anglia and the South West, but alongside this, London is now seeing a slight turnaround, following seven consecutive months in which the net balance for prices was in negative territory, it has now been positive for two months in succession.

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