Demand in the region stabilised in April, with purchaser enquiries moving to a net balance of minus 4%. Surveyors are still reporting that the limited supply of of mortgage finance is causing problems for many in the South East, with only the cash-rich able to really take advantage of the market.
Significantly, average sales per surveyor over the past three months rose to 15. Alongside this, newly agreed sales rose in April, as 20% more surveyors reported increases rather than falls in agreed sales, taking the series to its best level since October 2009.
Despite this, the picture remains more downbeat for house prices, in part due to the continued imbalance between demand and supply. Thirty one per cent more surveyors reported prices fell rather than rose in April, but this is the best level since June last year. Similarly, surveyors’ expectations for prices over the next three months remain in negative territory, at a net balance of -22.
Looking ahead, surveyors are positive for the coming months, with 20 per cent more predicting sales will increase rather than decrease. In the South East, 17% more chartered surveyors reported a rise rather than a fall in new instructions in April. Spring is traditionally a busier time of year, but respondents suggest that a stablisation in property prices has also tempted many sellers back.