The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors’ (RICS) latest housing market report highlighted the continued “buoyancy” of the property market.
The rise of new survey instructions, an indication of new supply coming on to the market, was up for the fourth month in a row, the first time stock levels have grown for this length of time since 2013.
Agreed sales rose in all parts of the country but East Anglia, the South West and Yorkshire & the Humber saw the strongest growth.
Desirable properties are attracting multiple offers and some buyers have resorted to panic bidding, where they make offers on several properties, pick the one they like the most, and pull out of the other transactions, according to surveyors’ feedback in the report.
One surveyor reported that demand for rural housing has ‘rocketed’ at the expense of properties located in the city, while another said 95 per cent loan to value mortgages would be needed to keep the market moving after the stamp duty holiday ends in March.
Surveyors do expect sales to decline over the next 12 months as the jobs market suffers, impacting the momentum of the housing market.
But house prices and rents are not expected to fall as demand wanes.
Simon Rubinsohn, RICS chief economist, said: “The latest RICS survey provides further evidence of the buoyancy of the housing market with more buyers and sellers helping to boost activity across the country.
“However, there is increasing concern that the combination of significant job losses over the coming month allied to the scaling back of policy initiatives in early 2021 will have an adverse impact on transaction levels. Meanwhile there is little sense this softer sales picture will be accompanied by very much easing in the momentum around prices and rents adding to the ongoing challenge around affordability.
“Recent government announcements around planning reform have a role to play in addressing this issue as does the focus on low cost home ownership but it is critical that the focus remains squarely on delivering more homes across all tenures to ensure that access to housing is improved and that the fears around a sharp rise in homelessness proves unwarranted.”