Sentiment in the West Midlands housing market continues to improve according to new research.
The latest RICS UK housing market survey, published today, shows three per cent of chartered surveyors expect house prices to rise rather than fall in the region, a significant increase on last month where 12 per cent chartered surveyors expected prices to fall.
Experts said the improved optimism for prices can at least partly be attributed to the fact that increased interest from new buyers has not been matched by supply coming on to the West Midlands market.
New buyer enquiries remained high in July with a net balance of 72 per cent reporting a rise rather than a fall – an increase on the 56 per cent reported in the previous month.
At the same time the levels of stock on estate agents books has also increased. In July more chartered surveyors across the UK reported an increase than a decrease in the number of new instructions for the first time since May 2007. However, given that prices are still low, together with the associated marketing costs, means that vendors are still a little reluctant to put properties on the market.
Housing market activity, in terms of actual transactions, also continued to rise during July in the West Midlands with an average of 18 properties sold compared with 11 over the previous three months.
The national picture highlights a north/south divide developing in the English market. The net balance of surveyors reporting price rises in London and the South East are 33 per cent and 13 per cent respectively, whereas 18 per cent more surveyors in the north are still reporting prices falling.
RICS West Midlands spokesman Richard Franklin, of Franklin Property Consultancy, said: “The levels of transactions are clearly picking up as interest in the housing market increases; it is this factor rather than house price growth that is often overlooked by commentators. Increased sales volumes are helping to unpick locked chains in the West Midlands.”