uk house prices mortgage

Rising house prices and rental market growth expected in coming months

Optimism in the property market continues to grow, with buyers and sellers firmly back in the fold. The future’s looking brighter for UK house prices and the private rented sector, too. 

The latest monthly residential market survey from the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) shows a significant pick-up in the sector in July. While expectations across the various parts of the sector vary, overall the mood is cautiously optimistic among professionals.

Buyers have rushed back to the market, with +75% of survey respondents noting an increase in enquiries since June. There’s also been a steep rise in instructions from sellers, reported by +59% of respondents. This compares to June’s +41% figure, showing confidence continues to improve.

Importantly, agreed sales have risen, with +57% of respondents reporting an increase nationally. Buyers are proving that they are now willing to press ahead with sales completions, after the slump between March and May.

House prices: will they hold?

For the first time since March, house prices are on the rise, according to the survey. A net balance of +12% of participants saw house prices increase in July. This is the first positive result since the lockdown began in March.

All regions except London noted house price rises, although the picture there is improving, too. In the capital, a net balance of -10% of respondents saw prices fall, but this is a better outlook than the -54% in June.

Looking ahead, +8% of participants expect house prices to rise over the coming 12 months. This is across the UK as a whole, again with regional variations. For many property investors, this makes well-timed purchases even more paramount right now.

The report says: “As such, this latest reading is consistent with a flat to marginally positive outlook for house prices in the year ahead.”

Tomer Aboody, director of MT Finance, says: “With the stamp duty holiday in place at least until March and hopefully longer, this should help support the housing market to a degree. No doubt there will be some negativity and a potential fall in confidence after government schemes such as furlough have ended.

“But a possible downward trend should be eased by banks already preparing a loss buffer (HSBC), allowing them to work more closely with borrowers who might be struggling with repayments.”

Rental market momentum is building

One big piece of news from this month’s RICS report is the uptick in landlord instructions. A total of +6% of contributors noted that they had experienced more landlords advertising rental properties in July, which is the first positive reading since 2016.

Over recent years, a number of changes have begun to affect some parts of the rental market. One major shift came from the introduction of Section 24, which changed some landlords’ tax bills. There’s also greater regulation in the market, such as more licensing schemes and new minimum requirements for some properties. Some of these changes have been good for the sector, improving standards in many properties. However, they have led a number of landlords to look to diversify, perhaps away from traditional buy-to-let.

On the tenant side, there’s been a “firm recovery”, according to +35% of surveyors. Tenant demand has increased for a third consecutive month, a significant recovery from the previous quarter. Looking to the future, +20% of respondents expect the market and rental prices to grow over the next year.

According to Elisabeth Kohlbach, CEO of Skwire, the rental market is the most positive area of the housing sector currently.

“The PRS sector is a growing part of the UK’s housing mix and the demand for this part of the market is not going away. Many would-be buyers are struggling to get on the ladder and will no doubt turn to the rental market once again.”

Looking at the build-to-rent market, she points out that London may no longer be as attractive. Remote workers seem to be “flocking to towns and cities beyond the capital”.

“Investors should look to the regions, which offer an exciting and untapped opportunity,” she adds.

Self-certified Sophisticated Investor

Please read

I declare that I am a self-certified sophisticated investor for the purposes of the restriction on promotion of non-mainstream pooled investments. I understand that this means:

I am a self-certified sophisticated investor because at least one of the following applies:

I accept that the investments to which the promotions will relate may expose me to a significant risk of losing all of the money or other property invested. I am aware that it is open to me seek advice from someone who specialises in advising on non-mainstream pooled investments.

High Net Worth Investor

Please read

I make this statement so that I can receive promotional communications which are exempt from the restriction on promotion of non-mainstream pooled investments. The exemption relates to certified high net worth investors and I declare that I qualify as such because at least one of the following applies to me:


Sign up for first access to new developments and exclusive property investment opportunities.

We send limited and targeted emails on new launches and exclusive deals which best fit your areas. We are trusted by over 30,000 active buyers as their source for new stock.

  • New property developments
  • Professional market reports
  • Property deal alerts
  • Development updates
Manchester property investment


Receive trending news straight to your inbox and stay up to date on all of the property market trends and advice.

Established since 2005 we are a leading voice of authority and commentary on the UK property market. Our news is trusted by Apple News & Google News.

  • UK housing market
  • Mortgage & money
  • Buy-to-let landlords
  • Guides & advice

Talk to us

Speak to our UK property experts today:


+44 (0) 333 123 0320

Open from 9am-6pm GMT


+852 6699 9008

Open from 9am-6pm HKT