Sellers have been ‘put off’ listing home for sale

Christina Hoghton
Written By:
Christina Hoghton

The current lockdown stopped many sellers from putting their homes on the market, but more activity is expected in the next few months

Lockdown led to sellers holding off putting their homes on the market, according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

In its February 2021 UK Residential Market Survey, the RICS noted a second monthly fall in the number of properties being listed for sale. It also found that demand was down, with new buyer enquiries falling last month.

However, sales activity is expected to rise in the coming three months, helped by an easing in restrictions.

Letting boost

The survey noted an increase in tenant demand in the three months to February alongside a fall in landlord instructions. Off the back of this mismatch, rental growth expectations have strengthened among surveyors.

Simon Rubinsohn, RICS chief economist, said: “The measures announced last week by the Chancellor should help support the housing market over the coming months with concerns around a cliff edge end to the stamp duty break eased.

“However, a very clear message emanating from the latest survey is that more needs to be done to address the shortfall in supply with price and rent expectations very evidently continuing to accelerate.

“Planning reform, which the government is addressing, alongside supporting a sustainable and inclusive recovery in the economy are key elements in encouraging the private sector to increase the pipeline of new build but it is clear that this is only part of the answer, particularly given the impact of low interest rates on demand.

“It is critical that a holistic approach is taken to the housing market ensuring that policy is designed to deliver across tenures and indeed to improve the environmental quality of the existing stock through a retrofit programme.”