House prices fall across Yorkshire as sale stock remains low

Thursday, 10th May 2018, 9:40 am
Updated Thursday, 10th May 2018, 11:24 am

House prices in Yorkshire and Humber fell last month despite the ongoing low level of homes for sale in the region, according to the April 2018 Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors' UK Residential Market Survey.

During April, just seven per cent of residential surveyors in Yorkshire and Humber saw an increase in house prices (down from 10 per cent back in March), and the average stock levels on agents books in the region remained at 38 (unchanged from March).

Comparatively, during the same time-period two years ago (April 2016) Yorkshire and Humber agents had 57 homes for sale on their books.

More respondents in Yorkshire and Humber reported a rise in new buyer enquiries last month, but both sales and new instructions (homes coming onto the sales market) fell for the third consecutive month in a row, respectively.

Looking ahead, the ongoing shortage of housing stock in the region is expected to impact prices, with 35 per cent of respondents anticipating prices increasing over the coming 12-months. The survey revealed that nearly all areas of the UK show positive twelve-month price expectations, led by the strongest sentiment in Scotland and the North West of England. However, expectations remain downbeat in London, with 20% more respondents predicting a further decline over the year to come.

As for sales expectations in Yorkshire and Humber; only five per cent of the region’s residential surveyors expect to see a rise in sales transactions over the coming 12-months. This is again, most likely due to the ongoing chronic shortage of quality housing stock across all tenures, including affordable homes.

Alex McNeil, MRICS of Bramleys in Huddersfield said: “The market is showing a similar pattern to last year; however, we’ve seen a recent upturn in the number of viewings and offers, which provides some scope for optimism. Overall, demand levels remain strong, despite stock levels continuing to decline.”

Mark J Hunter, MRICS of Grice and Hunter in Doncaster adds: “The market is erratic with certain properties commanding strong interest whilst others little interest. But we’re starting to see more properties coming onto the market and, inevitably, some of these are overpriced.”

In the lettings market, tenant demand in the three months to April remained strong with 31 per cent of respondents reporting a rise in demand for homes to rent, yet landlord instructions fell once again. Consequently, this rise in demand, coupled with a potential lack of availability is leading to rental growth expectations rising with 20 per cent more respondents expecting to see rents increase over the coming three months.

Simon Rubinsohn, RICS Chief Economist commented: “The housing market typically tends to see a pick-up in activity at around this time of the year and the feedback from respondents to the latest survey does seem to be capturing some of this tone. However, once this seasonal pattern has been allowed for the underlying trend in transactions still remains broadly flat.

“Meanwhile, the impact of recent tax changes appears increasingly visible in the letting results with new instructions from landlords in the three months to end April falling again and at a faster pace than previously. Given what this says about the Buy to Let market at the present time, it is imperative that Build to Rent begins to take on a greater role to ensure those seeking to rent in private sector over the coming years have sufficient choice.”