THE housing market in the North West continued to show signs of recovery during June, with rising sales expectations and increased demand, says the latest RICS Residential Market Survey.
Chartered surveyors across the North West expect home sales will rise over the coming three months, with a net balance of 65 per cent more respondents (up from 43 per cent in May) predicting sales will increase. This is the most positive reading since June 1999.
This rise in sales expectations has mainly been fuelled by increasing numbers of prospective buyers returning to the market. Last month, a net balance of 37 per cent more North West chartered surveyors reported a rise in new buyer enquiries.
In a clear sign that market confidence is gradually being restored, and that funding schemes are making a difference, demand from prospective buyers has been positive since December 2012.
Reflecting this slightly more positive mood, the average stock per chartered surveyor in the North West was 97 last month – an increase on June 2012 when respondents reported 88 homes on their books.
This is a clear sign that sellers are continuing to return to the market and more choice of homes is available for residents across the region. Despite the increasing appetite to purchase property and the added support to do so, the rental market continues to be important in providing housing.
Overall demand for rented property actually rose slightly during June, with a net balance of 27 per cent more North West chartered surveyors reporting an increase in tenant demand, compared with 14 per cent more during May.
RICS North West spokesperson, John Halman of Gascoigne Halman estate agents – which have 17 branches across the region - said: “Enquiries and sales are higher than we’ve experienced for several years, aided by a significant increase in buyer confidence.
“The outlook is more promising than it’s been for some time, so we expect demand and sales will further increase over the coming months as buyer confidence continues to improve.
Peter Bolton King, RICS Global Residential Director, added: “After what has seemed like a very long wait we are finally starting to see what looks like the beginning of a recovery in the North West’s housing market.
“It is important to remember that activity levels still remain depressed by historic standards but the various initiatives designed to encourage the provision of finance into the market do appear to be paying dividends.
“Despite the increased interest in buying a property, our numbers continue to show that demand from would-be tenants remains firm and that rents are likely to continue to edge upwards over the next twelve months.
“As the cost of shelter moves higher, it is absolutely critical that the government continues to focus on its role in supporting the delivery of more new homes into the market.”