The Royal Institute Of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) have made positive property investment predictions,  forecasting that UK house prices will rise 2% during 2013 and rents will increase by 4% on average.

It also forecasts a rise in the number of property sales. It estimates that there will have been 930,000 property transactions in 2012, and this will increase to 960,000 in 2013.

RICS is also predicting that the number of repossessions should fall to under 35,000 – the lowest figure in 6 years. Simon Rubinsohn, RICS’s chief economist, said: “The average house price in the UK looks set to rise by a further 2% next year, despite the uncertain outlook for the economy.

“More positively, the amount of property sales going through should also see an increase across the country, climbing to its best level since 2007, as the Funding for Lending scheme helps boost the availability of mortgage finance.

“But these tentative signs of recovery in the sales market should not blind us to the very real problems that still exist. Even with the Funding for Lending scheme and some other government policies beginning to be felt in the mortgage market, many first-time buyers will continue to find it difficult to secure a sufficiently large loan to take an initial step on to the housing market.

“Meanwhile, the alternative of renting is becoming more and more costly, with a further increase in rents likely in 2013. Critically, the Government needs to ensure that the conditions are in place that will enable the stock of new housing, whether for purchase or rent, to rise more rapidly.”

The House Crowd view: if these property investment predictions are correct, it should make it easier to sell our refurb/sell projects, though we still believe it will be fairly tough for first time buyers to get a mortgage and it will continue to take a while to find buyers.

It bodes well for our long term buy and hold strategy that the shortage in housing will continue, pushing up rental demand and to some extent rents.

Although we recognise there are limits to what people can afford to pay and we know from the Council Landlord Forums we attend, that LHA rates in Salford /Manchester will only rise by about 1% next year, but as you know we typically achieve 11% yields and have plenty of margin to pay the 6% guaranteed yield.

There is now such stiff competition in the market for investment properties in the £45-£55k price bracket, that we operate in, that we cannot see how prices could fall further. If anything they will probably rise slightly in 2013.