The number of housing transactions continues to grow across the UK property market, according to the latest Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) housing market survey (published today 12 February 2013).
During January, chartered surveyors across the country reported a further increase in the number of newly-agreed sales with a net balance of 15% more stating that levels rose. Transactions have now increased for four consecutive months.
In tandem with this, prices remained broadly stable during the first month of the year. Four per cent more respondents stated that prices fell rather than rose last month (from -1%), meaning that prices have remained fairly consistent from December. Along with other signs, this suggests that the very worst may be over for the market.
Despite this, demand from would-be purchasers has dipped slightly since the start of the New Year, with a net balance of 9% 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 with surveyors suggesting that poor weather may have contributed to the softer figures.
Across the UK, prices remained in positive territory in London and the South East while also moving into positive territory in Wales for the first time since the early part of 2010.
Looking ahead, chartered surveyors 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.