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Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Outlook for house buying brightest in 14 years

Surveyors are more confident of an imminent increase in house sales than at any time since 1999 in a “clear sign that market confidence is being restored”.

June data from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, published today, is strongly positive across several measures, with a majority of Rics members reporting house price rises and increased buyer enquiries.
But the most striking data concerned surveyors’ predictions of future activity. A net balance of 45pc of respondents, up from 36pc in May, said they expected sales to rise in the next three months. This was “the most positive reading in this series’ 14-year history”, Rics reported.

A raft of house market statsitics from various sources have shown marked improvement over the past year, but Rics’ Housing Market Survey - which is the oldest and regarded as one of the most authoritative - has only turned positive on several key measures in recent months.

Peter Bolton King, global residential director at Rics, said “We are finally starting to see what looks like the beginning of a recovery”. This had come after what “seemed a very long wait,” he said, but cautioned: “It is important to remember that activity levels still remain depressed by historic standards, but the various initiatives designed to encourage the provision of finance into the market do appear to be paying dividends.”

A net balance of 23pc of surveyors expected prices to rise, June’s report found, “fuelled by increasing numbers of prospective buyers returning to the markets.”