Sales up as price falls are reported

House sales were at their highest level for two-and-a-half years in February, according to the latest RICS housing market survey.

Chartered surveyors sold an average of 16.8 homes in the three months to February, up from 15.9 in the preceding three months, as an additional 8 per cent of surveyors remain positive on the outlook for the next three months.

The national price balance dropped from minus four to minus six as more surveyors reported falls in house prices than increases over the past three months.

There was a marked increase in the number of new buyer enquiries as the balance rose from minus 10 to positive three.