House prices rise across West Midlands as new buyer enquiries improve

House prices across the region showed continued signs of stabilisation as new buyer enquiries also picked-up.

According to the latest results of the monthly RICS UK Residential Market Survey, house prices in the West Midlands in June rose for the fourth consecutive month, with plus 23 per cent of respondents reporting a rise in prices.

Comparatively, house prices in London, the south east and east of England continue to fall with most other parts of the country showing house price growth.

Fewer respondents reported a fall in the number of new enquiries from buyers last month too, with the indicator moving from minus 38 per cent to minus 17 per cent – this is the most positive net balance since the beginning of the year.

Despite the improved interest from potential buyers, stock levels on West Midlands’ estate agents’ books are still around record lows, and appraisals are lower now than at this time last year. As the number of new properties being listed for sale also continue to fall it remains to be seen if there will be an impact on the supply issue.

The newly agreed sales net balance improved slightly in the month of June and sales expectations for the coming three months suggest it is likely to continue in the short term.

Moving to lettings, the ongoing theme of a fall in landlord instructions on the back of changes in the tax treatment continues, pointing to a drop in supply of rental properties coming on the market for the 14th month in a row. On the back of the deteriorating imbalance between tenant demand and supply, rent expectations are pointing to a further pick-up in the coming year.

Simon Rubinsohn, RICS chief economist, said: “The latest data provides further evidence of the sales market settling down but 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.

“Meanwhile feedback on the lettings market continues to highlight the impact of the policy changes announced in recent years. Build to Rent should in time help take up some of the slack in parts of the country but the RICS indicators capturing rent expectations suggests there is no expectation this will be the case anytime soon.”

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