More homes needed to ignite West Midlands residential market

Published May 11th, 2017

A lack of new instructions continues to stagnate the West Midlands sales market, according to the latest figures from the April 2017 RICS Residential Market Survey.

Once again, chartered surveyors have reported a fall in the number of new homes coming onto the West Midlands residential sales market with a net balance of -27%. This trend dates back to October 2015 and alongside concerns over Brexit and the upcoming election is one of the reasons cited by respondents for the subdued market. Where activity is strong, respondents lend it to demand for the right home in the right area, suggesting a more considered approach to home buying at present.

Newly agreed sales also continued to fall this month while sales expectations for the coming three months were flat. However, on the twelve-month horizon sales and prices expectations are firmly positive, with both expected to be higher at this point in 2018.

The main findings from the survey are:

Prices remain positive across the region with 36% more respondents seeing an increase in the April report

Average stock on surveyors’ books at present drop to almost record lows of 42.

New buyer enquiries also fell once net balance -17%.

Lettings market

In the lettings market, tenant demand is rising moderately, although momentum does appear to have faded since the start of this year. At the same time, landlord instructions were relatively flat. With demand continuing to outstrip supply across the region respondents expect rents to rise in the coming three months.

Simon Rubinsohn, RICS Chief Economist commented: “It is noticeable in the April report that the amount of new rental instructions coming through to agents is continuing to edge lower which is not altogether surprising given the changing landscape for buy to let investors. One consequence of this is that rents are expected to continue rising not just in the near term but also further out and at a faster pace than house prices.”

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