House sales hit a 10-month high in February

Property
Property

The number of houses sold in the south east reached its highest level in ten months, with chartered surveyors selling an average of 15 homes in the three months to February, says the latest RICS housing market survey.

The increasing market stability seen in recent months translated into an uplift in sales, and surveyors are cautiously optimistic that this trend will continue. Eight per cent more respondents in the region predict transaction levels will continue to rise rather than fall over the coming three months.

Chartered surveyors continued to report a flat trend on prices as a net balance of seven per cent more respondents claimed that prices had risen. Prices in the south east have now remained relatively stable since the summer.

Meanwhile, demand for property remained steady across the region as buyers continued to consider purchasing a new home. It would appear that the increase in mortgage finance availability from the government’s Funding for Lending scheme may be slowly encouraging would-be buyers to test the market.

In tandem with this, the number of homes coming onto the region’s market was stable last month. A net balance of six percent more surveyors reported rises in new instructions.

Looking ahead, chartered surveyors in the South East expect prices continue to stabilise over the coming three months as confidence gradually returns to the market.

Peter Bolton King of the RICS said: “It’s encouraging to see that the housing market now appears to be picking-up across most parts of the UK despite on-going concerns about the health of the economy.

“This may, in part, be down to the growing availability of mortgage finance through schemes such as Funding for Lending. However even with activity running at its best level since the middle of 2010, it is still well down on its pre-crisis norm.”