Landlord Knowledge - Home of the Savvy Buy to Let Property Investor

Buyer Demand Cools as Property Listings Rise in April

The latest RICS UK Residential Survey for April 2024 indicates a cooling in buyer demand, despite an increase in property listings, suggesting a complex market environment shaped by fluctuating mortgage rates and economic uncertainties.

Positive Trend in Property Listings
The survey highlights a significant uptick in new property listings, with a net balance of +23, the highest since September 2020. This increase reflects greater seller confidence as market conditions improve post-pandemic. “Sellers are likely to be feeling more comfortable in listing their properties,” the survey notes, pointing to a positive trend in the number of properties available on the market.

Mixed Buyer Demand and Regional Disparities
Despite the increase in listings, buyer demand has softened, with the net balance for new buyer enquiries dropping from +6 to -1 in April. This marks the end of three consecutive months of positive results. The decline is particularly noticeable in London and the southern regions of England. Simon Rubinsohn, Chief Economist at RICS, commented, “A modest back up in mortgage pricing has contributed to the flatlining in the buyer enquiries metric over the past month.”

Short-term Outlook and Lettings Market
Short-term sales expectations have also dimmed, with the net balance for sales expectations over the next three months falling to -1, the lowest since October 2023. However, there remains optimism for a stronger trend in sales activity over the next twelve months, with a net balance of +33, though this is down from +46 last month.

In the lettings market, tenant demand is losing momentum, and new landlord instructions are in short supply, recording a net balance of -13. Rubinsohn noted, “A fundamental problem in the market across much of the country remains the imbalance between demand and supply with new instructions continuing to decline.”