Property demand hits three year high

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Demand for property in the East Midlands rose to its highest level in over three years during April, as the government’s announcement on the ‘Help to Buy’ scheme began to make an impact on the housing market, says the latest RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) residential market survey.

Last month, new buyer enquiries increased to their highest level since September 2009, with 29 per cent more chartered surveyors in the region reporting demand for property rose rather than fell (from 16 per cent in March). This strongly suggests that ‘Help to Buy’ is attracting interest even if the mortgage guarantee element of the product is not due to come into effect until next year.

Meanwhile, supply of new property to the East Midland’s housing market failed to keep up with demand during April, with 20 per cent more surveyors reporting new instructions to sell fell rather than rose. With not enough housing to meet increased demand, prices are finally beginning to improve. A net balance of 20 per cent of surveyors in the East Midlands expect prices to rise over the coming months, this is the most positive they have been since October 2006.

Newly agreed sales also increased last month; with 10 per cent more surveyors in the East Midlands reporting sales rose rather than fell during April. Paul Perriam, MRICS, of William H Brown says: “April has been another fantastic sales month – in fact - we’ve seen a massive 50 per cent up on April last year and this is the third consecutive strong sales month. We are in a really strong market at the moment - the best for seven years, and confidence from buyers and sellers is growing by the day. Buyer demand is strong and there is a good supply of new instructions coming to the market.”