Sales of homes continued to increase over the November 2020 period as buyers continue to look for new homes ahead of the stamp duty cut ending in March 2021. However, while demand rose for most of the UK, the pace of this growth does appear to be losing a bit of steam and slowing.
Nationally a net balance of +27% of surveyors told RICS they experienced an increase in new buyer enquiries during the November period – positive, but down from the +42% from October.
In addition, while +25% of responses saw an increase in agreed sales over the month, expectations for the year ahead remain negative with a net balance of -21% of respondents foreseeing weaker sales in the year ahead. Some are citing rising unemployment and the UK Government’s Stamp Duty holiday ending in March as reasons for the subdued outlook.
Regionally, agreed sales continued to rise across most areas, with Wales and Northern Ireland seeing particularly strong growth for November. However, respondents in the West Midlands, East Midlands and Scotland have started to report a flatter trend in agreed sales.
House prices saw significant upward pressure, with a net balance of +66% of responses citing an increase in property values. Price expectations strengthened regarding the year ahead, as a net balance of +20% of surveyors now envisage prices rising over the next twelve months (up from +8% in October).