RICS says house sales hit 2.5 year high in February

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 eight per cent of surveyors remain positive on the outlook for the next three months.

The national price balance dropped from minus four to minus 6 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, however, as the balance rose from minus 10 to positive three.

The ratio of sales to stocks on surveyors’ books increased from 25.1 to 25.4 over the same period of time.

RICS Global residential director Peter Bolton King says: “It is encouraging to see that the housing market now appears to be picking-up across most parts of the UK despite on-going concerns about the health of the economy.

“This may, in part, be down to the growing availability of mortgage finance through schemes such as Funding for Lending. However even with activity running at its best level since the middle of 2010, it is still well down on its pre-crisis norm.”