House prices in the North West rose again last month, in a trend that dates back to May 2013, according to the latest RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) UK Residential Market Survey.  

In October, 55 per cent more chartered surveyors in the North West saw house prices rise (rather than fall) in the region. House prices also rose across all other areas of the UK last month, with the North West mirroring the trend. Looking ahead, 35 per cent more chartered surveyors in the North West expect prices to rise further over the next three months. 

As prices in the North West rose last month, demand from potential buyers in the region fell during October.  The number of new sales instructions in the region also dropped, with North West respondents reporting a decline in homes coming on to the sales market for the 16th consecutive month. The supply of new stock to the UK market as a whole has been in decline since the middle of 2014, with the number of new instructions only increasing in one of these months. 

Despite the lack of new stock to the market, sales activity in the North West is relatively healthy with 14 per cent more respondents seeing a rise in sales during October. Sales expectations for the next three months ahead are also positive with 30 per cent more North West respondents expecting to see an increase in sales over this time period. 

In the region’s lettings market, demand is also continuing to outpace supply in the three months to October. This has been the trend nationally for some time, with the growth in demand outstripping that of supply since 2009.

Derek Coates MRICS of Venmores in Liverpool commented:  “The market remains active with good levels of activity in both sales and lettings. However a lack of new stock is a worry and delays with finance and legal matters remain an obstacle.” 

Andrew Holmes, MRICS of Thomson Hayton Winkley Estate Agents in Kendal adds: “More applicants are chasing fewer properties but as ever, quality, well-presented homes are the most favoured. We’re also seeing buy-to-let acquisitions on the rise due to strong tenant demand and the shortages of stock.” 

Simon Rubinsohn, RICS chief economist, said: “It is hard to get away from the issue of supply when it comes to the current state of the housing market. The legacy of the drop in new build following the onset of the global financial crisis is now really hitting home, with both the sales and letting markets continuing to show demand outstripping supply on a month by month basis. 

“If the five year projections from our North West members, regarding the outlook for both prices and rents is anything to go by, property is set to become even more unaffordable going forward; making the Government’s focus of boosting the delivery of new homes absolutely critical.”