UK Housing Market Update

Transaction numbers and market sentiment have stabilised


House prices rose by 0.4% in April, according to Nationwide. This makes annual growth 0.9%, the strongest growth since November last year.

This and the results of the March RICS market survey suggest a slight strengthening in market conditions. The number of surveyors reporting rising numbers of new enquiries increased, but they are still in the minority. The number of surveyor reporting rising numbers of new instructions was essentially unchanged. More surveyors also reported price rises, the first increase since July last year, but they remain a small minority.

Although the RICS continues to report that most surveyors think activity levels are falling, transaction numbers appear to have at least stabilised over the last month after more than a year of falls. HMRC reported a headline-grabbing 7% rise in annual transactions in March, but this was all in the seasonal adjustment. The non-seasonally adjusted numbers showed that the monthly falls in annual transaction numbers did at least stop in March and this is supported by Land Registry data.