UK property survey reveals falling gross sales and frenetic rental market

UK property survey shows falling sales and frenetic rental market

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UK home gross sales are set to fall as excessive mortgage charges deter consumers, whereas rental costs surge as tenants enter bidding wars for the few properties obtainable to let, in keeping with a number one property survey printed on Thursday.

The month-to-month report by the Royal Establishment of Chartered Surveyors paints a contrasting image of a slower gross sales market, with each consumers and sellers ready for the financial outlook to settle, and a frenetic rental market the place rising prices and regulation are driving out landlords.

Rics mentioned its measure of newly agreed gross sales — calculated because the distinction between the share of surveyors seeing rises and falls up to now month — fell to a internet steadiness of -44 per cent in July, down from -36 per cent in June and the weakest for the reason that early phases of the coronavirus pandemic. In contrast with June, a much bigger proportion of surveyors anticipated gross sales to weaken additional over the following three months.

In the meantime, demand from tenants elevated on the strongest tempo since early 2022 and the web steadiness of surveyors anticipating rental costs to rise within the close to time period hit a report excessive of 63 per cent.

Simon Rubinsohn, Rics chief economist, mentioned the survey pointed to the challenges going through consumers however that it was equally regarding that “rents are more likely to proceed rising sharply regardless of the price of residing disaster”.

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The slowdown in gross sales exercise displays a pointy drop in each purchaser demand and within the variety of householders itemizing properties.

Surveyors remained gloomy concerning the outlook for home costs, with a internet steadiness of 49 per cent anticipating them to fall over the yr forward, the identical studying as in June. However some prompt the market was extra more likely to sluggish than fall, as sellers weren’t but prepared to simply accept decrease affords.

“It’s paused fairly than dropping,” mentioned Andrew Burnett, an agent based mostly in Sussex. Stan Shaw, head of the company Mervyn Smith, based mostly close to Richmond in Surrey, mentioned consumers had began to make affords properly under asking costs after the Financial institution of England lifted rates of interest by 0.5 proportion factors in June, however that almost all sellers had been “not ready at this stage to simply accept hefty drops”.

Richard Franklin, an agent based mostly in Tenbury Wells, Worcestershire, mentioned: “There’s a raft of overpriced rural inventory with distributors failing to understand the market has moved on from WFH and lockdown.”

The BoE mentioned final week that it anticipated fewer pressured gross sales than in earlier housing market downturns, probably limiting the dimensions of home worth falls. Nonetheless, it mentioned one issue that would drive down home costs can be rising gross sales of properties by buy-to-let landlords.

A number of respondents to the Rics survey mentioned they had been now seeing extra landlords exiting the market due to the sharp rise in the price of buy-to-let mortgages, modifications in tax guidelines and different laws, and unease over the potential influence of latest laws meant to offer tenants extra safety.

Line chart of Rental prices over the next three months, % of surveyors expecting a rise less those expecting a fall  showing Expectations for higher rents are at a record high

“The rental market is damaged,” mentioned Will Ravenhill, managing director of the Leicester-based lettings company Readings, who noticed many landlords leaving the market, whereas others had been “rising rents to ridiculous ranges to stick to their mortgage covenants”.

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Tenants have additionally been staying in properties for longer on common, including to the squeeze on provide.

Kevin Burt-Grey, director on the Pocock & Shaw company in Cambridge, mentioned most rental properties acquired “a number of functions” inside days of coming to market.

Will Barnes Yallowley, director on the Kensington-based company Tate Residential, cited one case the place a two-bed flat had attracted 11 affords and let properly above the asking worth inside every week.

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