‘New yr bounce’ for UK housing market

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HousesImage copyright PA Media

Activity within the UK housing market picked up firstly of the yr, surveyors say, with cautious expectations of the raise persevering with.

The variety of folks trying to purchase rose in January, as did the quantity of houses on the market, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) stated.

Sales that had been agreed rose for a second month in a row.

RICs stated an easing uncertainty concerning the normal election and Brexit prompted the optimism.

Simon Rubinsohn, the establishment’s chief economist, stated the rise in properties being put in the marketplace was a “much needed development” after new listings had been at file lows lately.

“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 stated. “But, at this point in time, contributors are optimistic regarding the outlook for activity over the next 12 months.”

Brexit affect

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

North London property agent Jeremy Leaf stated: “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 throughout the nation submitting views to the RICS survey stated the higher exercise was the results of extra certainty and confidence, however there was additionally the suggestion that the comparatively gentle climate had made house-hunters extra energetic.

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

Housing commentators had predicted the pick-up owing to the decisive election consequence, however there have additionally been expectations of a slowdown as soon as the Brexit negotiations hit their subsequent key deadline on the finish of the yr.

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Separate figures from UK Finance, which represents the key banks, confirmed a 17% rise within the variety of houses repossessed by mortgage lenders.

Some 1,330 householders mortgaged properties seized within the last quarter of the yr, resulting in the rise in contrast with the identical interval the earlier yr.

Homes are repossessed when there is no such thing as a probability of a mortgage borrower having the ability to make repayments.

Andrew Montlake, managing director of the mortgage dealer, Coreco, stated: “On this evidence lenders are increasingly playing hardball with borrowers who are struggling.”

However, UK Finance stated that the full was nonetheless comparatively low, regardless of the rise, as repossession ranges remained properly beneath these seen between 2009 and 2014.

It stated the rise was pushed partly by courts and lenders processing a backlog of older circumstances.