“Renewed optimism” from buyers and sellers saw a pick-up in sales activity across the UK housing market in January, according to the latest RICS UK Residential Market Survey.
At the national level, the number of homes being listed for sale increased from a net balance of +11% in December to +19% in January.
January also saw an increase in the number of people looking to buy, as new buyer enquiries rose to a net balance of +23% from +19% in December. As well as this, agreed sales rose for a second month in a row.
Respondents to the survey said they expect the “refreshed optimism” to continue, with sales anticipated to rise across all UK regions.
The RICS said this up-turn in activity was also reflected in the level of market appraisals undertaken over the month, which was higher than a year ago, marking the first positive reading for this series since it was introduced in 2017.
Despite the improvement it follows a sustained period of falling supply, with stock levels remaining low at an average of 43 properties per branch.
Simon Rubinsohn, RICS chief economist, said: “The latest survey results point to a continued improvement in market sentiment over the month, building on a noticeable pick-up in the immediate aftermath of the General Election.
“The rise in new sales instructions coming onto the market is a noteworthy and much needed development, given the lack of fresh listings over the past few years had pushed stock levels to record lows.”
He added: “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. But, at this point in time, contributors are optimistic regarding the outlook for activity over the next twelve months.”
The RICS is a professional body for qualifications and standards in land, property, infrastructure and construction.