“The chasm between housing supply and demand shows no sign of closing, but conveyancers will be reassured by the resounding forecast that property sales are set to gain momentum. Sentiment among surveyors clearly points to a further increase in activity, and this comes as no surprise when house price rises are lifting many homeowners out of situations where they have been trapped by negative or low equity.
“It’s certainly good news – for now – that limited supply hasn’t halted four months of rising buyer enquiries. But the problem comes when potential movers find their next step up the ladder is out of reach because prices in a higher bracket have also risen with the tide.
“This limits the number of suitable first- and second-time buyer homes coming onto the market, and the only long-term prospect for growth is for planning reform to overcome supply barriers. Until this happens, the limited stock will put a ceiling on the long-term property recovery.
“For the time being, conveyancers who want to grow their residential business will be pitted against each other to win a bigger share of the market.”