The UK housing market is showing signs it may be “over the very worst” of its current slump, according to a monthly survey of chartered surveyors. Green shoots? RICS says surveyors are more optimistic about the housing market A balance of 24pc more surveyors predicted that the number of house sales will increase over the next three months, compared to those expecting transactions to fall. The pick-up sentiment in the survey by trade body RICS came after a “notable” increase in buyer interest in recent months, with signs that this is translating into a higher sales rate. The poll of 280 surveyors also showed that property prices held steady in December, marking the first time since mid-2010 that surveyors did not report that prices edged downwards over the previous three months. Accordingly, the survey showed that for the first time in two and a half years surveyors did not predict further property price drops over the coming three months. “This more positive outlook comes at a time when confidence has been growing that the market in some parts of the country may now be over the very worst,” said RICS.
Good News Britain: Housebuilder Galliford Try reports record sales 09 Jan 2013 The organisation is forecasting that prices will rise by 2pc this coming year. That would mark a turnaround from last year’s housing market performance, when average prices dropped 1pc, according to lender Nationwide. None the less, despite improvements in mortgage availability, market-watchers warn that the ability to finance home purchases remains a major headwind against the market, as lending is still low by historical standards. Peter Bolton King, global residential director at RICS, said: “As we start the new year confidence to the housing market does appear to be improving, helped in part by the impact of the Funding for Leading Scheme. “Indeed, our members are predicting that transaction levels will continue increasing in many parts of the country. “That said, more still needs to be done to ensure potential buyers can access the market at every level.”