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14 May 2024

Welsh Home Sales Increase as Enquiries and Instructions Rise

 

Home sales continued to increase in number in Wales during April according to the latest Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Residential Market Survey.

A higher number of listings and good buyer demand led to more transactions taking place.

A net balance of 35% of surveyors in Wales reported that house sales rose through the month of April, the fifth consecutive month that this balance has been on an upward trajectory.

Surveyors in Wales also appear optimistic on the short-term outlook for sales, with a net balance of 14% of surveyors anticipating a rise over the next three months. This balance is the second highest across all UK regions, after Northern Ireland.

New buyer demand is also said to have risen through April according to the survey. A net balance of 37% of respondents in Wales reported that new buyer enquiries had increased.

On the supply side, a net balance of 47% of respondents in Wales note that new instructions to sell had risen. This is at a faster rate than was seen in March when the net balance was 41%.

However, surveyors are not as positive on the pricing front. A net balance of -8% of surveyors in Wales reported that house prices have fallen over the past three months, which is just below the UK average which sits at a net balance of -5%.

Looking forward on house pricing, a net balance of -15% of Welsh surveyors expect that prices will edge lower over the next quarter.

The intense demand for rental property appears to have softened a little in April. A net balance of 17% of surveyors in Wales noted a rise in tenant demand for rental properties which is down from 50% in March.

Supply of rental property is said to have fallen flat through April. On the expectations front, a net balance of 17% of respondents in Wales anticipate that prices will rise over the next three-month period.

Commenting on the sales market, Melfyn Williams MRICS of Williams & Goodwin The Property People Ltd in Anglesey said:

“The property market in our area is showing promising signs of activity, particularly at the lower end. Homes in this bracket are ticking over nicely, keeping the market vibrant and buoyant.”

Anthony Filice, FRICS, of Kelvin Francis Ltd in Cardiff said:

“There was a marked increase in listings, viewings and sales agreed across all price ranges, even over £1,000,000. There is a wide choice of properties, and if sensibly priced, are selling well. There is confidence, but it is still a buyers’ market.”

Discussing the rental market, Paul Lucas, FRICS of R.K.Lucas & Son in Haverfordwest added:

“Demand for all types of property remains in a dwindling supply. Many landlords are leaving the letting market.”

Regarding the UK picture, Simon Rubinsohn, Chief Economist, RICS, said:

“Feedback to the latest RICS survey demonstrates the sensitivity of the sales market to interest rates at the present time, given the continuing challenge around affordability.

“A modest back up in mortgage pricing has contributed to the flatlining in the buyer enquiries metric over the past month, as well as the slightly more cautious signals around near-term expectations.

“That said, there is still a strong perception that activity in the market will pick up in the latter part of the year and into 2025, irrespective of any political uncertainty around the general election.

“As far as the lettings market is concerned, an increasing number of respondents are also drawing attention to affordability constraints, and this is reflected in a more modest pace of rental growth. But a fundamental problem in the market across much of the country remains the imbalance between demand and supply with new instructions continuing to decline”.

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