House sales hold steady as RICS forecasts 2010 price rises

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New figures from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) show the number of homes sold in the UK falling to 87,000 in November, compared with 90,000 in October.

However, last month’s total for properties worth £40,000 and above is the second-highest so far in 2009, and the dip still leaves completed transactions at over twice the 41,000 low recorded in January.

The immediate outlook for house sales looks good as the Council of Mortgage Lenders recently reported that approvals for house purchase loans increased to 55,000 in October, the highest level since December 2007.

Furthermore, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has today predicted a 1% to 2% rise in UK house prices in 2010, despite a “flat” employment market and continued caution among lenders.

According to the RICS: “Supply should continue to increase in the early part of 2010 but will struggle to keep pace with demand providing a platform for further house price rises.”

The body also estimates that the average volume of housing transactions will rise from between 55,000 and 60,000 per month in 2009, to 70,000 by the end of 2010.

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