Demand for housing in the UK rose to its highest level in over three years during April, according to the latest Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Residential Market Survey.
New buyer enquiries surged to their highest level since 2010 last month, with 25 per cent more chartered surveyors reporting that demand for property rose rather than fell, the survey says.
The RICS believes that the sudden increase in enquiries suggests that, along with the existing Funding for Lending scheme, the government’s new Help to Buy policy is attracting interest even if the mortgage guarantee element of the product is not due to come into effect until next year.
Supply also increased last month, with new instructions to sell rising in April, albeit more modestly, to a net balance of 8 per cent.
With not enough housing to meet the increased demand, prices are beginning to rise, with the survey also recording its first increase in house prices since June 2010.
Peter Bolton King, RICS global residential director, said: “It is encouraging to see government initiatives are having an impact on the property market. Help to Buy in combination with the Funding for Lending scheme appears to be giving the market a shot in the arm. Thankfully, sales are expected to pick up over the coming months, albeit from historically low levels.
“However there are some understandable concerns that the measures will also lead to higher prices. In view of this, it is critical that developers are as good as their word and speed up the delivery of new stock.”