Bridging Finance News:- New buyer enquiries for August showed a slight rise following a couple of months’ modest increases, according to the latest RICS’ residential market survey.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors’, RICS, questionnaire of members working in residential sales and lettings showed a net balance of plus 3 percent for first-time buyer interest in August.

Newly agreed sales, however, inched slightly further into negative territory of minus 8 percent compared with minus 6 percent previously.

RICS chief economist Simon Rubinsohn said the market had weathered Brexit uncertainty well.

“The key RICS activity indicators have actually remained relatively resilient until now pointing to only a modest dip in transactions across the country rather than anything more severe.”

Wales and the North East respondents reported a solid increase in sales for August with the Midlands and the South East showing the weakest momentum.

Nationally the average time to conclude a sale from initial listing to completion was 18 weeks – a week less than at the start of the year.

Longer-term outlook is brighter

Near term sales expectations’ net sale balance fell from minus 4 percent to minus 23 percent in August, representing the poorest return since February this year.

However, forecasts were more positive in the long term. A net balance of plus 5 percent thought sales would rise over the next 12 months, although this was down from plus 12 percent and plus 22 percent in July and June respectively.

New instructions were more or less flat over August marking the third consecutive month where fresh listings saw little change. Contributors continued to report that the number of appraisals made was down compared with the same period a year ago.

House prices came in at a minus 4 percent net balance – slightly better than July’s minus 9 percent. Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales experienced firm house price inflation while London, the South East, and East Anglia continued to report a decline. The North East also returned a negative reading for August.

The outlook over the next three months for house prices was negative with a net balance of minus 24 percent. However, predictions for the next 12 months were optimistic with a positive 12 percent net balance. Respondents’ sentiment was strongest in Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales but with prices expected to continue to fall in London with a steadier trend emerging in the South East and East Anglia.

Bridging Finance by HZA

Brokers Hank Zarihs Associates said development finance lenders were continuing to offer construction loans and instant bridging finance at good rates to new build residential schemes.

Hank Zarihs Associates | First-time buyer interest still in positive territory

August ‘s results for lettings showed tenant demand increased for an eighth month in succession, as a net balance of plus 23 percent of contributors cited a pickup. However, landlord instructions remained in decline, an ongoing trend stretching back to 2016.

The survey sample covered 750 surveyor branches with 361 respondents.

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