A slow start to the year for Yorkshire and Humber’s housing market is revealed in the latest RICS UK Residential Market Survey.
Figures from across the region show a deterioration in demand, sales and homes coming on to the market for sale.
During January, new buyer enquiries fell for the second month in a row as demand declined to some degree across virtually all parts of the UK.
Alongside weakening demand, the number of new properties being listed on the sales market in Yorkshire and Humber also deteriorated for the seventh month in a row as surveyors in the region reported an average of just 32 properties on their books, down from 34 the previous month.
Looking at prices, 21% of respondents reported a rise in house prices in Yorkshire and Humber (up from 10% in December). The ongoing shortage of housing stock in the region is thought to be largely responsible for this.
Comparatively, London and the South East continue to display the weakest house price readings, followed by East Anglia and the South West.
In these regions the strong price growth over the past six years has left affordability looking stretched, with the high prices a key factor hampering demand. Elsewhere, prices continue to rise in Northern Ireland and Scotland.
Ben Hudson, MRICS, of Yorkshire-based Hudson Moody, said: “Uncertainty caused by Brexit is holding back sellers, however the shortage of supply is seeing good levels of sales for those properties on the market.”
Across the lettings market, demand rose in Yorkshire and Humber in the three months to January, with 36% of surveyors in the region reporting a rise in tenant demand and 9% seeing an increase in landlord instructions.
Over 35% of respondents expect rents to rise over the coming three months.
Alex McNeil MRICS of Bramleys, West Yorkshire, said: “The looming ban on tenant fees will be a further deterrent to some investors faced with paying higher fees. Rents will inevitably rise, although it is likely that there will be a shortage of available rental property in the short term.”
Simon Rubinsohn, RICS chief economist, added: “Although some contributors to the survey have taken comfort from a better start to the year than anticipated, a larger proportion are continuing to find the market a difficult one in which to do business.
“Resolution of the Brexit negotiations is widely seen as critical to encouraging potential buyers back into the market, although whether that will be sufficient in London and parts of the South East, where affordability remains stretched and the tax changes are most penal, remains to be seen.”