Stable prices suggests worst of dip is over
The number of housing transactions in the South West grew during January, says the latest RICS housing market survey.
During the month, chartered surveyors across the region reported a further increase in the number of newly agreed sales, with a net balance of 16 per cent more respondents stating that levels rose.
In tandem with this, prices remained broadly stable during the first month of the year. Seven per cent more respondents stated that prices fell rather than rose last month (from minus five per cent). While still negative this does mean that prices have remained fairly consistent from December. Along with other signs, this suggests that the very worst may be over for the region's market.
Despite this, demand from would-be purchasers in the South West has fallen since the start of the New Year, with a net balance of seven per cent of surveyors suggesting that new buyer enquiries fell during January. This was also accompanied by a slight fall in the number of homes coming up for sale, as surveyors suggested that poor weather may have contributed to the softer figures.
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RICS residential spokesperson for Somerset, Mike Woodliffe, of Woodliffe & Co, estate agents and chartered surveyors, said: "Despite the poor weather in January there are encouraging signs. Enquiries are up and vendors are pricing properties more realistically. In general there are more good news stories than bad around and this will hopefully continue to build confidence for buyers and sellers alike."
Looking ahead, chartered surveyors in the region are optimistic that the price stability seen in recent months will persist over the coming three months and, more significantly, they anticipate prices beginning to move a little higher as the year wears on. Meanwhile, future transaction levels are expected to remain on an upward trajectory.
RICS residential spokesperson for the South West, Roger Punch of estate agents Stags, said: "While the report is encouraging there is a real danger of vendors becoming over-confident and complacent of a recovery as the year progresses."