The RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) reports the level of completed house sales stabilised at the end of 2010, but the outlook for the property market remains mixed.
The latest RICS UK Housing Market Survey reports that the three months to December, the average number of completed sales per surveyro stabilised at an average of 15.2 (from 14.8). Across the UK, completed transactions were highest in the East Midlands and Yorkshire and the Humber. East Anglia recorded the lowest level of transactions with an average of just 10 per surveyor.
More positively, surveyors’ expectations for sales over the coming months edged up, with eight per cent more expecting sales to increase rather than decrease, up from six per cent in November. Many respondents suggested that the market would begin to pick up again in the Spring.
Despite this slightly more encouraging outlook, lack of supply to the market continues to be an issue. New instructions fell from a net balance of -4 to -14, as potential sellers waited until the New Year before putting their property on the market.
New buyer enquiries - which signal demand for property - fell for the seventh consecutive month. Surveyors continue to report that lending constraints, particularly to first-time buyers, remains the biggest barrier to any strong improvement in the market.