UK property brokers report drop in inquiries for brand new properties


UK property brokers reported a sudden drop-off in inquiries for brand new properties final month, in line with a carefully watched survey that indicated the warmth might be popping out of the housing market after a frenzied two years.

The month-to-month UK residential survey by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, revealed on Thursday, discovered the web steadiness of purchaser inquiries was -7 per cent in May in contrast with +8 per cent the earlier month.

The determine, which exhibits that extra brokers reported a decline in purchaser inquiries than reported a rise, provides to proof that the housing market is starting to chill, as the price of residing disaster and rising rates of interest restrict shopping for energy.

“The increase in the cost of mortgage finance alongside growing concerns about the economic outlook is unsurprisingly having an impact, albeit a relatively modest one at this point, on buyer activity in the sales market,” Simon Rubinstein, RICS chief economist, mentioned.

Annual home value progress has remained in double digits throughout the previous two years as the federal government’s stamp responsibility vacation, low borrowing prices and a drive for more room shielded the property market from an financial hit from the pandemic.

But with inflation operating at 9 per cent and mortgage charges rising, many property brokers mentioned the growth would quickly come to an finish.

“Cost of living, inflation, war in Ukraine and confidence in the government are some of the factors that are contributing to doubt,” William Delaney, a central London agent, mentioned. “This is making some buyers very hesitant.”

Separate figures from the Halifax financial institution launched on Wednesday confirmed annual home value progress remained excessive however slowed barely in May, falling to 10.5 per cent from 10.8 per cent.

Russell Galley, managing director, mentioned the market had begun to “show signs of cooling”, with mortgage exercise ticking down. “With overall buying demand down compared to last year, we may be past the peak sellers’ market,” he mentioned.

However, a scarcity of properties for potential consumers might proceed to push home costs up, he added.

The RICS survey additionally confirmed that property brokers thought costs can be “squeezed higher” by a scarcity of properties, however hinted a diminished confidence that these will increase would proceed sooner or later.

A internet 73 per cent of respondents mentioned home costs elevated in May, an analogous proportion to earlier months. But the web steadiness that anticipated home costs to be greater in a 12 months’s time fell to 42 per cent from 78 per cent in February, the bottom studying since January 2021.

RICS internet steadiness of opinion from property brokers is calculated because the proportion of these reporting a rise in costs minus these reporting a discount.

A mismatch between provide and demand can also be fuelling value rises within the rental market, in line with brokers.

A internet steadiness of 48 per cent of respondents mentioned demand from tenants continued to rise however fewer new properties have been approaching to the market, and a internet steadiness of greater than 50 per cent predicted rents would improve.

“Demand is still very strong leading to rental levels being bid higher and greater challenges for tenants who aren’t in the position to compete for the available stock,” Rubinstein added.