14th September 2020

RICS Residential Update -August 2020

It is perhaps with trepidation that we awaited the latest RICS Residential property update for August 2020, given the current state of the world, and the fact that we are now officially in one of the country’s deepest ever recessions.  However, the survey shows strong momentum behind the sales market.

The pandemic and lockdown is causing a shift in the desirability of certain types of property – gardens are now very popular whilst tower blocks less so.

New instructions have continued to rise, although in an historical context estate agents’ stocks are very low.  There has been a growth in sales agreed, for the third successive month and short-term expectations are positive.

Looking forward twelve months the outlook seems less bright with concerns over the broader economic climate.  This is perhaps not surprising as there is anticipation of job losses and further economic decline.  There may also be a second wave of coronavirus leading to more lockdown measures.  Even as I write this, we are entering a period of increased restrictions.

August saw a sharp acceleration in house prices across much of the UK (not including London which was still reasonably static).  The Stamp Duty holiday will no doubt be pushing the market forward at the moment.

With regards to lettings, tenant demand continued to rise whilst landlord’s instructions were broadly flat.  This is no surprise as landlords consider the merits of the current eviction ban, even where tenants are thoroughly unco-operative, antisocial and financially incapable.  It remains to be seen when and how this will be addressed by Government.  Consequently, rental growth expectations have strengthened yet again.

In our patch we have seen some good growth in house prices once again.  For some of our expert witness work we have done direct comparisons and established the growth; some of our local areas have seen a great volume of sales, which helps us with evidence as valuers.

The RICS members seem to be optimistic, but it really will be an interesting end to the property year with so much general uncertainty about.  Many people would like us to move straight to 2021 to start again – we might not even get Christmas this year!  Keep watching this space for updates.

Graham Bowcock


Managing Director

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