United Kingdom house prices edged up in July - RICS survey

Row of rustic village houses Lavenham Suffolk UK

Row of rustic village houses Lavenham Suffolk UK

The most striking feature of the July 2018 RICS Residential Market Survey for London is the continued reduction of new property being put on the market in the lettings sector with the July 2018 RICS UK Residential Market Survey showing 22% more respondents seeing a fall rather than rise in new landlord instructions.

A net balance of 64 per cent of local surveyors expect to see an increase in the number of houses sold over the next three months, while a net balance of 58 per cent expect a rise in activity over the year ahead - the highest in the UK. The risk, as we have highlighted previously, is that a reduced pipeline of supply will gradually feed through into higher rents in the absence of either a significant uplift in the build-to-rent programme, or government-funded social housing.

Rics said that small landlords have been selling up their properties following tax changes that made buy-to-let properties less lucrative, while more people are looking to rent, partly because they can't afford to buy a home.

"Withdrawing tax breaks that small landlords relied on, placing an extra three per cent on second home stamp duty, and failing to stimulate the corporate build to rent market, has understandably impacted supply".

More people in the United Kingdom are now looking to rent, in part because they are unable to afford to buy.

Mortgage tax relief for landlords will be limited to the basic rate of income tax by 2020 due to the buy-to-let tax regime changes brought in past year.

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The headline price balance for Wales was +15% in the latest survey, meaning that 15% more surveyors said that prices rose in the past three months than those who said they fell.

However, RICS said the longer term outlook will see a mammoth 15% added to rents by 2023.

"Ultimately, [the] government must consider the impact of its policies, and if the wish is to move away from the private rented sector, it must provide a suitable alternative".

HomeLet - a tenant referencing company - showed that whilst the average United Kingdom rent rose by 1% to £777 year-on-year, in London this figure rose by 3.3% in July to £1,615.

East Anglia and the South West are expected to see the sharpest growth over the period said the survey which gathers the views of chartered surveyors across the country. "Despite the recent increase in interest rates by the Bank of England, mortgage rates remain at low levels historically and we anticipate good demand through the remainder of the year".

John Brown, group managing director at chartered surveyors John Brown and Company in Edinburgh, said: "Edinburgh and East of Scotland is experiencing a mini boom [for properties] below £500,000".

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