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RICS agents expect recovery to take nine months

Surveyors reckon property sales will take nine months to recover on average (mean), the RICS residential survey for April found.

Some -57% more contributors expected sales to fall than rise in the coming three months.

A net balance of -93% of contributors reported a decline in new buyer enquiries in April.

A third (35%) of the survey participants believed that when the market reopens, prices could be left up to 4% lower, while more than 40% took the view that prices could in fact fall by more than 4%.

Jeremy Leaf, north London estate agent and a former RICS residential chairman, said: “This data, though interesting, has largely been overshadowed by the re-opening of the property market yesterday so the next survey is likely to be quite different, bearing in mind the spike in enquiries which followed the announcement.

“Nevertheless, near-term expectations show that we shouldn’t get carried away by this sudden release of pent-up demand. Many bigger hurdles remain for homebuyers and sellers, not least in arranging visits safely and securely, as well as ensuring that previous as well as new lending arrangements are in place on the same or similar terms.”