Rishi Sunak’s Stamp Duty extension helped estate agents sell more properties last month than in February as the market continues to boom in many areas, the latest monthly RICS snapshot reveals.
It says agents reported a stronger March than the month before in both sales and lettings, and that this is proof that buyer, vendor and tenant sentiment has been swayed by the Chancellor’s extended Stamp Duty giveaway and the looming relaxation of Covid rules.
This includes more appraisals, buyer enquiries and sales during March than in February, a much-appreciated shot in the arm for the industry given previous worries that the stamp duty ending could leave the market in the doldrums.
RICS says this is the strongest reading since August last year. On the back of this pick-up, member agents are anticipating sales activity will continue to increase over the coming three months.
But RICS says buyer demand outstripped new instructions, which is likely to push up prices significantly this year.
In terms of the regional breakdown, prices are reportedly already on the up across all areas and regions of the UK, with the strongest momentum in the North West, Yorkshire & the Humber and Northern Ireland.
“The lettings market is displaying a broadly similar characteristic in terms of the relationship between demand and supply with the notable exception of the numbers for London,” says Simon Rubinsohn, RICS Chief Economist (pictured).
“Significantly despite rents moving higher, contributors continue to point to the less favourable environment for investors in the London market as playing a key role in fuelling this imbalance.”