LETTING & ESTATE AGENT

Number of new instructions dwarfed by rocketing buyer interest

Number of new instructions dwarfed by rocketing buyer interest

House prices jumped once again last month as rocketing interest from would-be buyers dwarfed the amount of properties coming on to the market, the RICS has reported.

The proportion of chartered surveyors reporting price rises hit an 11-year high, said the RICS, demonstrating the impact that the imbalance between supply and demand is having on the market. ?

RICS agents said that while Help to Buy is boosting buyer numbers, a lack of new instructions from vendors is proving problematic.

The RICS also said that Help to Buy seems to be weakening tenancy demand.

Only 11% of respondents reported rises in interest from potential tenants during October, the lowest reading in over ten years.

In the three months to October, RICS agents sold an average of 20.3 homes, the highest amount since February 2008.

Significantly, said the RICS, almost every region of the country saw transaction levels increase, which it said further demonstrates that the recovery is spreading beyond the traditional economic powerhouse of London and the south-east.

Simon Rubinsohn, RICS chief economist, said: “A greater willingness by lenders to increase loan to values on mortgage products allied to the Help to Buy scheme has meant that more and more first-time buyers are in a position to enter the market.

“In spite of this, the amount of homes currently up for sale is still nowhere near enough to keep up with demand.”

Paul Smith, CEO of haart, said that in his own business, new buyer registrations are growing at nine times the rate of supply.

He said: “We need far more homes to come to market which will keep a lid on property price growth.

“However, many prospective sellers are deterred by the prohibitive cost of moving.

“The Government must now consider a Stamp Duty holiday for properties under £600,000 – a significant cut-off point as this is the upper price limit for Help to Buy.”