Buyers show interest again

Buyers began to return to the housing market in November, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors reports.

The trade body has seen new buyer enquiries rise for the seventh consecutive month and move into positive territory for the first time in more than two years.

Its housing survey shows that 14% more chartered surveyors reported a rise in new buyer enquiries last month, up from a negative balance of -9%.

RICS says that although underlying activity in the mortgage market remains weak, the turnaround in enquiries shows that buyer interest is returning.

The institution attributes its findings to the sharp base rate cuts delivered in the months up to and including November. It also identifies significant house price reductions as a reason for growing consumer interest.

A RICS spokesman says: “Many individuals are starting to see the current market as an opportunity to purchase property.

“But unless consumers feel relatively confident about their job prospects they are unlikely to try to obtain mortgage finance, bar cases where they are trading down or seeking to release capital.”