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Market improving slowly after lockdown, latest RICS figures suggest

The latest sentiment snapshot produced by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors confirms the trend that the market is still improving after lockdown.

RICS’ survey always calculates respondents’ sentiments month-by-month, so for example this latest snapshot released today shows that the net balance for new buyer enquiries moved from a record low of minus 94 per cent in April (when the market was show) to post a reading of minus five per cent in May.

Newly agreed sales remained in negative territory (net balance minus 35 per cent) alongside a net balance of minus 20 per cent of contributors reporting new instructions falling in May. 

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With regards to house prices, the survey’s headline UK price indicator moved deeper into negative territory. Indeed, the national net balance showed a balance of 32 per cent expecting a fall comlipped to 22 per cent in April, representing the weakest monthly figure going back to 2010. 

The RICS assessment does not include Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland where the market has been shut for most of the period under review.

In additional polling of agents and surveyors, RICS says 81 per cent felt that there will be an increase in demand for properties with gardens or balconies; 74 per cent predict an increase in demand towards homes located near green spaces; and 68 per cent are of the opinion that properties with greater private and less communal space will become more desirable.

At the other end of the scale, 78 per cent of respondents sense there will be a fall in the appeal of tower blocks and 58 per cent feel properties located in highly urban areas will be less enticing.

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