December 2019 saw a rise in reported home sales for the first time since May 2019, according to a monthly survey of estate agents by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. Respondents also said that they were expecting higher house prices in the near term across all parts of the UK. However, there have been early indications that consumer sentiment has improved since the election last month. London and East Anglia were among the regions where sentiment improved the most, while sales in Northern Ireland and Scotland weakened, according to the institution’s survey. Buyer demand, measured by the volume of new enquiries, increased in most areas last month, with estate agents in Wales and the North East reporting particularly solid growth. Simon Rubinsohn, RICS’s chief economist, said the survey “provides further evidence that the housing market is seeing some benefit from the greater clarity provided by the decisive election outcom e”. However, he warned that the lack of houses on the market could be a “potential drag on a meaningful uplift” in sales.
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