The December 2023 RICS UK Residential Survey shows activity picking up, and an improvement on last month's figures as the trend towards lowered mortgage rates continues. Near-term sales expectations moved up a touch more positively, while the longer-term outlook illustrates a market moving out of negativity and into a flatter environment.
The new buyer enquiries indicator registered a reading of -3% in December, up from -13% in November, approaching a flat reading. This is the fourth successive month recording a reduction in negative buyer enquiry activity, moving into neutral territory (between -5 % and +5%) for the first time since April 2022. Similarly, the -6 % result recorded for newly agreed sales is the least negative figure since March 2022.
Respondents foresee house prices stabilising at the national level, posting a net balance of zero in December against the -10 % recorded in November. The latest feedback on house price expectations remains varied across the UK, with respondents from Northern Ireland, the North West of England, and Scotland anticipating higher prices on a twelve-month view.