Is demand set to increase in the market as we head towards 2017?

Is demand set to increase in the market as we head towards 2017? [Photo: iStock]

In every year since the financial crisis struck the property market hard in 2008, there has been something of a rebounding in attitude and activity from buyers, with an increasing number every year looking to get themselves a footing on the property ladder. 

This demand has been somewhat subdued this year, however, with the uncertainty around the EU referendum and what it would mean for the market seeing many people who would have otherwise purchased property instead waiting to see how things would pan out. However, some five months after the Brexit vote struck initial fear into the property sector, it would appear that attitudes have been changing in the last few weeks. 

As we head towards the end of the year and into 2017, it would seem that demand is starting to climb again, with data from the latter part of the year suggesting that more people are trying to buy homes now than they have been throughout the rest of 2016. This sort of attitude headed towards a new year can only bode well for 2017's figures, with this recovery only likely to continue throughout the 12-month period. 

According to data published this week by Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), a survey of members found that a balance of ten per cent more respondents experienced a rise in demand rather than a drop throughout October as buyers continued their return to the market and activity continued to improve. It was, RICS said, the second month in a row that demand has risen, which is a good sign for the future after months of subdued market activity. 

It's not just demand that has climbed at present. According to the data, there has been a rise of five per cent throughout October in terms of transactions, which suggests that it's not just a tentative return from buyers, but people acting on their stronger market sentiment. 

Forecasts for the three months ahead also look to be good. The market always tends to perform relatively well around the turn of the year as demand rises from those who are looking for a new job or a new start. Buoyed by this and the strengthening activity in demand in the last two months, RICS respondents have said they expect to see rises in activity between November and January. Some 18 per cent more expect increases rather than decreases in activity throughout the period. 

This has fed into what is expected to happen to the market in the 12 months ahead. The survey of chartered surveyors shows that 25 per cent more expect rises than falls in transaction levels in the year ahead, which suggests real market confidence about sales numbers returning among those who work in property, and the possibility that 2017 could be a far stronger market than  we've experienced so far in 2016 for sales.