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Spike in House Sales Shows Market Confidence


The total number of properties sold in the UK over the last three months, has been at its highest level for three and a half years.  This is based on information provided by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).  Its members sold an average of 17.9 houses in the quarter up to May 2013.  Although this is still below the market peaks seen up until 2007, it shows a healthy increase on the extreme lows of 2009 and could indicate an increased confidence in the housing market.

The mini-boom is set to continue in the summer months with a net balance of 35% more respondents predicting transaction levels to grow.  A key driver to the upturn is an increase in would-be buyer enquiries, with 30% more chartered surveyors reporting rises, rather than falls in this area.  This is the highest reading since October 2009.

RICS also showed that property values edged up in May; five per cent more members reported increases in prices, than did decreases.  Some respondents to the survey pointed to recent Government initiatives as a stimulating factor in the market’s upturn in fortunes.  The research echoes recent price surveys for May from the big mortgage lenders; Halifax recently predicted that house prices would go up by 2.6% annually and Nationwide says that prices are up 1.1% on twelve months ago.

Commenting on the latest survey, the global residential director at RICS, Peter Bolton King, said: “May was an interesting month for the housing market.  More people decided to get out there and view property and more transactions went through than in quite some time.  Most encouragingly of all though, is that stability is not confined to London and the South East, as has been the case, but is now starting to extend to areas right across the country.  There is still a very long way to go until we see a full scale recovery, but green shoots are beginning to sprout.”

Sources: thisismoney.co.uk, rics.org.uk (image courtesy of dailymail.co.uk)