Appetite for buying a home ‘increases for first time since 2016’

The appetite for buying a home has picked up for the first time in nearly three years, surveyors have reported.

An overall net balance of 10% more surveyors saw an increase rather than a decrease in interest from new buyers in June, according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics).

The Rics report said: “This is the first time since November 2016 where contributors have reported a modest rise in the appetite from potential purchasers to acquire property at the national level.”

There are also signs of a more stable trend in the supply of homes coming on the market, Rics said.

For the first time in a year, surveyors are seeing positive growth in properties being listed for sale.

A net balance of 2% of surveyors reported house sales increasing rather than decreasing – the first time in 10 months where a decline in activity was not seen.

Despite the more positive findings, Simon Rubinsohn, Rics chief economist, said: “I don’t get the impression from the insight provided by contributors that this is fuelling hope of a significantly more active market going forward.

“Many of the factors that have provided a challenge during the first half of the year remain unresolved.”

Commenting on the report, James Chidgey, relationship manager for Mortgage Advice Bureau, said: “It seems that increased numbers of Rics members are slightly more optimistic than in previous months…

“However, it would appear that this is counterbalanced by an ongoing shortage of stock in some areas, although there have been some positive movements on this score in some regions.

“Clearly, lack of choice hampers motivated buyers and discourages discretionary movers from entering the market, so against the current backdrop an increase in supply will be seen as welcome news by many.

“That said, the movements observed in June are modest and it’s early days; we’ll need to see if this trend continues over the next few months before we can conclusively say that the market has really turned a corner.”