Surveyors report a rise in buyer and seller numbers

Surveyors report a rise in buyer and seller numbers
Christina Hoghton
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Christina Hoghton

Buyer demand continues to recover, as more properties are being listed on the market, according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

The RICS noted a more positive trend in buyer enquiries and new listings emerging over February.

There was a “solid rise” reported in new instructions to sell, marking the strongest reading since October 2020.

Average stock levels on estate agents books are also up, now sitting at 42 properties, the highest since February 2021.

Surveyors also said they had seen an increase in the number of market appraisals undertaken over the month.

Sales slip

Despite the positive news, sales were slower in February and house prices also dipped a little, according to surveyors.

However, going forward, they said that ‘near-term sales expectations are marginally positive’.

Sarah Coles, head of personal finance at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “The housing market inspired more confidence in February, as buyers slowly resurfaced, and optimism rose among estate agents. However, given the broader picture, there’s still a risk that February may not have been flying after all. It could just have been falling with style.

“The return of buyers is something to be celebrated. It comes after such a long period of decline that buyers were looking ready for the endangered list. They’re not flocking back in vast numbers: they’re approaching more tentatively to dip their toes in.

“And while this isn’t to be sniffed at, it needs to be seen in the context of a slight fall in agreed sales, and lower prices than the same time a year earlier.”

Related: Average first-time buyer mortgage term rises to 32 years