Housing transactions on the up in January

The number of housing transactions in the south east rose during January, says the latest RICS housing market survey.

Monday, 11th February 2013, 12:18 pm

During the first month of the year, chartered surveyors across the region reported an increase in the number of newly agreed sales, with a net balance of 21 percent more stating that levels rose.

In tandem with this, prices in the south east remained stable during the first month of the year.

Seven per cent more respondents stated that prices fell rather than rose last month, meaning that prices have remained fairly consistent since September last year.

Along with other signs, this suggests that the very worst may be over for the region’s property market.

Despite this, demand from would-be purchasers dipped very slightly since the start of the New Year, with a net balance of five percent of surveyors reporting that new buyer enquiries fell during January. Local surveyors suggested that poor weather may have contributed to the softer figures.

Looking ahead, chartered surveyors in the south east are optimistic that the price stability seen in recent months will persist over the coming three months and, more significantly, they anticipate prices beginning to move a little higher as the year wears on.

Meanwhile, future transaction levels are expected to remain on an upward trajectory, with 24 percent more surveyors expecting sales levels to rise rather than fall.

Peter Bolton King of RICS said:“Price falls across the region have gradually stemmed in recent months and it is interesting to see that the amount of completed transactions are on the rise, as confidence returns to the marketplace.

“While it is still very early days to talk about a comprehensive market recovery, activity levels are still encouraging and there is some optimism out there that things could continue to improve.

“That said, in the south east, high house prices and the lofty deposits required by many lenders continue to prevent many first time buyers from getting a foot on the ladder, which is preventing any significant movement at the lower end of the market.”