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Spring is in the air as more properties are listed for sale in Wales

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Spring has reportedly sprung in Welsh housing market with the latest RICS Residential Market Survey showing the number of new homes listed for sale was at its highest in 15 months, this despite ongoing caution over the rising cost of living and higher interest rates.

In March, +26% of respondents in Wales reported a rise in the volume of fresh listings coming onto the sales market. New buyer enquiries also rose this month too with +14% of respondents reporting a rise. The number of agreed sales was flat in March haven risen in February.

Although the increase in the number of new listings becoming available is encouraging, the average number of properties on estate agents’ books remains low by pre-pandemic levels.

Looking ahead, respondents in Wales anticipate sales and prices to rise modestly in the near term. Looking to the next three months, sales expectations remain positive with +28% of contributors expecting a rise. Looking to this point next year, sales volumes look broadly stable with +1% anticipating an increase.

Despite the slightly more encouraging news on the supply front, house prices continue to rise at a firm pace. This month, +89% of respondents in Wales saw a rise in house prices.

Looking ahead, respondents in Wales expect house prices to rise further in the coming three or twelve months (net balance of +18% and +95% respectively). Looking over the next five years, contributors to the survey across the UK expect house prices to increase around 4% per annum.

Anthony Filice FRICS of Kelvin Francis Ltd in Cardiff said: “We have seen an increasing number of valuations, several leading to instructions. We are waiting to see the effects of inflation and shortages caused by the war in Ukraine. Buyers are taking more time submitting offers, with less ‘best and final’ bids taking place. There is increasing choice for buyers.”

RICS Chief Economist, Simon Rubinsohn, commented:

“Despite mounting concerns about both the macro environment and the war in Ukraine, for now the feedback to the RICS survey shows the housing market remains resilient. Rising interest rates have begun to push up the cost of mortgage finance but debt servicing remains low in a historic context which helps to explain why the new buyer enquiries indicator remains in positive territory.

“Meanwhile, it is encouraging that a little more stock appears to be returning to the market. This is still early days in that inventory remains not far off historic lows but if the trend continues, it could help to create a better balance between supply and demand. That said, there is little evidence of this outcome materialising in the twelve-month metrics which continue to point to further increases in prices and a flatter pattern in transactions.”