Sales of new homes increased for a third consecutive month across the UK in February, according to the latest RICS UK Residential Market Survey.
Some 20% of respondents to the survey saw an increase in new buyer enquiries over the month, the third period of growth in a row.
In addition, experts are forecasting a better sales outlook for the rest of the year, with +61% of survey participants saying they expect more homes to be sold as the year progresses.
New homes coming onto the sales market also nudged up for a third straight month, with new instructions seeing a net balance increase of +15% in February – with west midlands and the south east seeing the biggest bump in new properties coming onto the market.
RICS said “strong demand” has also seen prices increase in February, with a net balance of +29% of contributors reporting house price growth– up from +18% on the previous month.
While there was growth in all regions of the UK, London, Yorkshire and the Humber and East Anglia all saw the strongest increase in house prices. Furthermore, some 22% of respondents are expecting house prices to continue to rise further over spring.
Despite this, RICS said concerns have been raised by property professionals about the impact of coronavirus, which although yet unknown, could “adversely affect” viewings and the traditional spring house selling season.
Simon Rubinsohn, RICS chief economist, said: “It is encouraging that the results of the latest survey continue to show a positive trend both in terms of potential buyer interest and new instructions to agents. Indeed, this is the first time since 2014 that new supply to the market on the RICS indicator has increased for three consecutive months.
“Inventory levels are still at historically low levels despite this but the firmer trend in appraisals suggests that the picture could improve over the coming months providing the coronavirus doesn’t become more of an inhibitor of activity in the sector.”