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Housing activity showing upward shift from buyers and sellers

The February 2024 RICS UK Residential Survey shows a more upbeat picture for sales than was the case for most of last year.  However, the near outlook is still cautious, in part due to the suspicion that the recent easing in mortgage rates is likely to stall on the back of ongoing uncertainty about the timing and speed of interest rate reductions. 

At the UK level, new buyer enquiries stayed positive for the second successive month (+6% net balance) showing a continued upwards trend in buyer demand. Looking at regions across the UK, most have now shown a recovery in buyer interest over the last two months. 

Agreed sales were flat in February (-3% net balance) and although this is less positive than in January it still signals a stronger trend in sales than was evident in most of the last 12 months (average net balance of -22%). Looking ahead, the sales expectations for the near term are positive, and sales activity is expected to gain further momentum over the coming year (net balance +42%). In addition, respondents across all UK regions/countries foresee residential sales activity picking up over the longer-term time horizon.

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