RICS’ housing market survey for July showed that a net balance of 53% more chartered surveyors reported a rise rather than a fall in demand for housing compared to 38% in June. The signs of recovery were evident across the UK.
House prices rose across the country for the fourth month running and at their fastest rate since the good old days back in November 2006. Peter Bolton King, RICS global residential director, said: “These results are great news for the property market as it looks like at long last a recovery could be around the corner. Growth in buyer numbers and prices have been happening in some parts of the country since the beginning of the year but this is the first time that everywhere has experienced some improvement.”
A major contributing factor is the government’s Help to Buy equity loan scheme. Help to Buy now has hit 10,000 reservations since it launched in April, according to the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG).
DCLG said that the scheme was “giving the confidence to housebuilders to deliver and build more homes.” It added that Help to Buy’s mortgage guarantee scheme would further increase mortgage availability and “help promote confidence and housebuilding”.
The DCLG also stated that new housing supply was at its highest since 2008, with 319,000 additional homes added in England between 2010 and 2012. More than 150,000 affordable homes had been built over the past three years through affordable housing programmes, and the number of first time buyers is said to be at its highest since 2007. Communities secretary Eric Pickles said: “This government’s package of measures to boost the housing market is working, with housebuilding and housing supply on the up. “The tough decisions we have taken to tackle the deficit are now delivering a sustainable increase in housing and providing real help to hard-working people.”
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