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Wales sees further increase in homebuyer and seller activity

New buyer enquiries and instructions to sell increase again

(Adobe Stock)

Activity from both homebuyers and sellers was strong in Wales for the second successive month in February, according to the latest Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Residential Market Survey.

New buyer enquiries, instructions to sell, and newly agreed sales were all reported to have risen firmly again, following on from a strong first month of the year.

A net balance of 15% of respondents in Wales said that enquiries from potential buyers were higher in February than they were in January. A net balance of 33% said the same of instructions from vendors to sell their properties. And when it comes to agreed sales, a net balance of 31% reported an increase on the previous month. This was the highest net balance for newly agreed sales across all of the UK regions.

House prices still point to a downward trend in Wales, but less so than in recent months. A net balance of -18% of respondents said that prices fell. But this was the least negative price balance in nine months. And whilst price expectations are still muted in the short-term, surveyors in Wales do now expect prices to pick up over the 12 months ahead.

On the lettings market front, the imbalance between demand and supply continued in February, though at a less pronounced rate. A net balance of 33% of respondents in Wales noted that demand had risen, whilst Welsh surveyors said that landlord instructions were flat.

Commenting on the sales market, Anthony Filice, FRICS, Kelvin Francis Ltd, in Cardiff said: “The Spring market is here, resulting in increased valuations, instructions and sales. There is greater viewer choice, but properties that are correctly priced are selling in 2-4 weeks. Buyers are more confident than they were, with stable interest rates.”

Commenting on the UK picture, Simon Rubinsohn, Chief Economist, RICS, said: “The February RICS survey provides some grounds for encouragement around the sales market with not just buyer interest staying positive for the second successive month but also the uplift in new instructions to agents. Whether the increase in stock coming back to the market will be sustained is likely to be a critical factor in explaining how things play out over the balance of the year especially with new build likely to remain constrained. Significantly, the rise in the number of appraisals taking place points in the right direction. And the government will be hoping that this trend is given a boost by the change to CGT announced in the Budget.

“Meanwhile, there are signs that the relentless upward trend in private rents is losing momentum but fresh demand is still comfortably outstripping supply in this area which suggests there is unlikely to any significant relief for tenants. Indeed, feedback from respondents to the survey continue to highlight the challenges in the sector resulting from a whole host of measures introduced in recent years.”