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More surveyors report rising prices

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by Gill Montia

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) has reported a positive change in house price expectations for the first time since May 2007.

In its June survey of members, the net balance of surveyors reporting falling rather than rising prices improved from -43.8 in May to –18.1.

The Institution points out that although the balance remains negative, the reading is at its best since September 2007.

According to the survey, the net price balance is now positive in London and the South West, neutral in the South East and only barely in negative territory in Scotland.

Meanwhile, the West Midlands and Yorkshire and Humberside recorded the weakest net price balances during the month.

In addition, June’s figures show new buyer enquiries increasing for the eighth consecutive month with heightened interest feeding through into transactions.

Newly agreed sales increased “sharply” taking the average number of properties sold over the past three months to 12.7, up from 11.7 in the previous quarter.

However, the improvements come against a backdrop of falling stocks; new vendor instructions remained “marginally negative” in June and the average number of unsold properties per estate agent fell to just 56.9.

Rics spokesman, Jeremy Leaf, is doubtful that there will be a sustained market upturn while mortgage lending remains tight.

He explains: “A lack of stock on the market is providing a platform for modest price increases”.

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News posted: July 14, 2009

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