House prices and home sales activity in Wales continued to edge upwards in December, but surveyors are cautious about the outlook for the market in first quarter of 2019, according to the latest RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) Residential Market Survey.
Whilst the headline price balance remained in positive territory last month, and the number of newly agreed sales was reported to have risen, Welsh surveyors indicate that they expect prices and sales activity to be lower in three months’ time.
Respondents to the survey indicate that this is linked to nervousness related to the economic climate and Brexit.
The main findings of the latest survey for Wales were as follows:
- The headline price balance was +7% in the latest survey, pointing to house prices having risen.
- The sales expectations balance, at -6%, suggests that sales activity will decrease in the three months ahead. The price expectations balance was at -2%.
- The new instructions to sell balance was at +9%, suggesting that the number of new properties coming onto the market was higher in December than in November.
- Meanwhile, the newly agreed sales balance was at +14% suggesting that the number of newly agree sales rose.
- New buyer enquiries were reported to be flat.
RICS Residential Spokesperson for Wales, and Director of Kelvin Francis, Cardiff, Tony Filice FRICS, says:
“2018 ended relatively positively for the housing market in Wales and, in our experience, it has been a relatively positive start to New Year, despite nervousness over Brexit. However, there is a degree of caution regarding the months ahead.”
Nicola Taylor, of MGY in Cardiff said: “We found the market slowed down end of October, earlier than normal. We suspect this is partly down to the uncertainty of Brexit as well as the normal festive break”.