Buyer demand increasing in the UK? - PropertyBlawg

Buyer demand increasing in the UK?

by PropertyBlawg on December 10, 2012

Guest post from online conveyancing lawyers in the UK.

Buyer demand rose at its fastest rate in almost three years during October, according to the RICS October housing market survey. New mortgage lending figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) also hint at positive news to come.

Buyer demand

RICS, the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, carries out a monthly survey of all its members, assessing the housing market.

This has shown subdued interest from would-be buyers since December 2009, but during October chartered surveyors reported a considerable rebound in new buyer enquiries, with a net balance of 18% more respondents reporting rises (from +5%).

“The number of potential buyers going out and viewing property saw a welcome boost last month,” said Ian Perry, RICS housing spokesperson. “It seems that with Christmas around the corner, those who are in a position to buy decided to get out there and see what is available. That being said, overall activity is still very low in most parts of the country and what the market desperately needs is for this to translate into actual sales.”

First-time buyers

First-time buyers are playing a big role in this, if new figures from the CML are anything to go by.

In London, for example, CML research shows that a total of 10,000 first-time buyers took out a mortgage in London in the third quarter of 2012. This was the highest number in the capital in a single quarter for almost three years.

In Scotland too, the number of loans advanced to first-time buyers increased in the third quarter (5,100 loans) – a 6% increase compared to the second quarter and up by 9% on the same period last year.

Mortgage Lending

The CML has also spotted signs that the market weakness of recent months may be coming to an end. The CML’s forward estimate as at 20th November was that total gross mortgage lending recovered to £12.9 billion in October. If this proves to be the case, this would reverse the sharp dip reported for September, and imply that lending was 4% higher than the same month a year earlier.

“House purchase and remortgage activity both appear to have picked up recently, and this should be supported by an improvement in the availability and pricing of mortgages,” said CML chief economist Bob Pannell.

The effect on house sales?

Sadly, according to RICS, despite the overall market picture seeing a gentle improvement across the country, this did not necessarily translate into a significant boost in sales.

In the three months to October, UK surveyors sold on average 15.2 homes (from 14.9). While representing a small upturn on the previous month’s reading, transactions still remain historically low across most parts of the country.

This guest post is courtesy of Click 4 Conveyancing, UK online conveyancing specialists. Contact them if you’re looking buy, sell or remortgage your house in Scotland or elsewhere in the UK.

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