New research has revealed homebuyer demand in Wales has increased at its strongest rate in almost three years. 

The latest Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Residential Market Survey reported that in March, buyer demand rose for the fourth consecutive month. 

A net balance of 49 per cent of surveyors in Wales noted that new buyer demand rose through March. 

The rate at which sellers were listing homes for sale also rose according to respondents, and as a result, sales expectations have increased.

Looking at supply, a net balance of 40 per cent of Welsh respondents noted a rise in new instructions to sell, up from 32 per cent in the previous survey.

With demand and supply rising, sales also continued to increase through March. A net balance of 18 per cent of Welsh survey respondents reported that house sales rose, following on from 29 per cent in February and 55 per cent in January.

House prices in Wales rose for the first time since October 2022 according to the latest survey, with a net balance of 12 per cent of surveyors in Wales reporting that house prices increased, compared to a UK average net balance of minus four per cent. 

Looking forward on pricing, a net balance of minus seven per cent of respondents anticipate that prices will fall over the next three months. Although this figure is in negative territory, it is compared to the minus 13 per cent that was seen in February. 

Surveyors are also optimistic on the sales outlook with a net balance of 13 per cent of surveyors anticipating that sales will rise over the next three months. On the twelve-month outlook, a net balance of 45 per cent of surveyors in Wales expect house sales to grow.

In the lettings market also continues, a net balance of 50 per cent of Welsh surveyors noted a rise in tenant demand, with 20 per cent of surveyors anticipating a rental price increase over the next three months.

Commenting on the sales market, Anthony Filice, FRICS of Kelvin Francis Ltd. in Cardiff said: “There has been a continued increase in valuations, instructions and sales agreed, in line with anticipated Spring market. 

“There is more choice of properties available which if correctly priced are selling. Stable mortgage rates are encouraging activity.”

Discussing the rental market, Paul Lucas, FRICS of R.K.Lucas & Son, in Haverfordwest said: “Demand is high with limited supply. Some long-term landlords are still exiting the market.”

Tarrant Parsons, Senior Economist at RICS, commented: “Demand continues to recover gradually across the UK housing market, with new buyer enquiries rising for a third month in succession according to the latest survey feedback. 

“With the inflation backdrop turning a little less difficult of late, this has led to expectations that the Bank of England will be able to start lowering interest rates later in the year. This should continue to support the market to a certain degree going forward. 

“In keeping with this, near-term sales expectations point to an improving outlook, albeit the scope for an acceleration in activity will still be relatively limited given mortgage rates are set to remain much higher than in 2020/21.”