Property > Homepage-Secondary

Big bounce for housing market

Peter Kelly
Feb 13, 2020


The wheels are finally turning again on the property market as the number of people looking to buy rose in January.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) revealed that the number of sales agreed have risen for the second month in a row.

RICs said an easing uncertainty about the general election and Brexit prompted the optimism.

GET CHEAPER HOME INSURANCE NOW

Simon Rubinsohn, the institution's chief economist, said the increase in properties being put on the market was a "much needed development" after new listings had been at record lows in recent years.

"It remains to be seen how long this newfound market momentum is sustained for, and political uncertainty may resurface towards the end of the year," he said. "But, at this point in time, contributors are optimistic regarding the outlook for activity over the next 12 months."

Various surveys have suggested the UK housing market has seen a pick-up following the general election.

North London estate agent Jeremy Leaf said: "We probably won't know until the end of February or the beginning of March whether this renewed interest can translate into robust sales giving us more confidence that this housing market recovery is robust and sustainable."

Property professionals from across the country submitting views to the RICS survey said the greater activity was the result of more certainty and confidence, but there was also the suggestion that the relatively mild weather had made house-hunters more active.

Spring tends to be the busiest time for the housing market, as buyers and sellers act on new year plans to move home.

GET CHEAPER HOME INSURANCE NOW

Housing commentators had predicted the pick-up owing to the decisive election result, but there have also been expectations of a slowdown once the Brexit negotiations hit their next key deadline at the end of the year.

Separate figures from UK Finance, which represents the major banks, showed a 17% rise in the number of homes repossessed by mortgage lenders.

Some 1,330 homeowners mortgaged properties seized in the final quarter of the year, leading to the rise compared with the same period the previous year.

Homes are repossessed when there is no likelihood of a mortgage borrower being able to make repayments.

GET CHEAPER HOME INSURANCE NOW

Andrew Montlake, managing director of the mortgage broker, Coreco, said: "On this evidence lenders are increasingly playing hardball with borrowers who are struggling."

However, UK Finance said that the total was still comparatively low, despite the increase, as repossession levels remained well below those seen between 2009 and 2014.

It said the increase was driven in part by courts and lenders processing a backlog of older cases.

Here at A Spokesman Said we love fighting for your rights and believe fervently in natural justice.

But these battles cost us money. You could help us fund these fights by using our price comparison site, A Spokesman Said for your energy, car insurance and household bills.

We’re just the same as Go Compare or any other price comparison site, so you won’t be losing out in any way - by helping us, you will be helping yourself.

Thank you for your support.


When did you last switch your home insurance provider?

We compare prices from the big brands, so you save money