Renewed optimism for the housing market

More surveyors are seeing a rise in house prices and are predicting a boost in activity in the wake of the election, says the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

The RICS UK housing market survey shows that 17% more chartered surveyors reported a rise in house prices in April compared to 9% in March.

London saw the biggest gain in house prices last month with 55% more surveyors reporting a rise, up from 32% the previous month.

Surveyors continue to report house price rises in every region except for Wales and Yorkshire and Humberside.

The net balance of surveyors expecting sales to rise went from 6% to 25%.

The average number of completed sales rose for the first time in three months to 17.4% per surveyor, while the average stock of property on surveyors’ books decreased by 6% on the month to 61 properties per surveyor.

This had the effect of raising the sales to stock ratio – a key indicator of future house price inflation – from 25% in March to 28% in April.

The increase represents the first upward movement of the index for this year.

A net balance of 11% of surveyors saw a rise in new instructions while new buyer enquiries rose from 1% to 8%.

A spokesman for RICS says: “For much of 2010, the housing market has been under the shadow of the general election with the gap between supply and demand growing wider as potential buyers opted to stand on the sidelines awaiting the outcome of the poll.

“However, the start of spring has seen renewed optimism with the good weather improving sentiment and surveyors expecting an increase in both sales and house prices.

“The housing market often sees an increase in new instructions in the early part of the year with sales boosted in the spring and this year has been no exception.”