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RICS: Sellers return to the housing market as prices rise

Rising house prices and increased buyer demand has prompted significantly more sellers to come back to the market in August, according to the latest Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors UK residential market survey.

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The professional body says low numbers of new properties coming up for sale has been holing back the market in recent months, but during August 26 per cent more chartered surveyors reported increases, not decreases, in new instructions. The figure has increased from a net positive 16 per cent in July.

However, although supply jumped last month, it did not rise sharply enough to keep pace with demand.

During August, the number of would-be buyers increased again as access to finance allowed more people to enter the market. A net balance of 66 per cent more respondents reported growing numbers of enquiries from potential buyers.

Prices were also on the rise, with 40 per cent more surveyors reporting rises rather than falls across the UK. This is the highest reading since November 2006.

RICS global residential director Peter Bolton King says: “It’s not surprising that more and more people are looking to sell their homes. Buyers are out there and prices are on the up so if you’re looking to move it’s a good time to do so.

“What we don’t wish to see, however, is prices rise to such an extent that they become unaffordable. For the market to work properly, it’s vital that property is both accessible and affordable and we’ll be monitoring the situation carefully as the housing sector continues to recover.”

London & Country mortgage specialist David Hollingworth says: “Inevitably, the more people read and see about the number of buyers that are ready and waiting, that is always likely to increase confidence. As prices rise and strong buyer demand is reported, more people are going to be tempted to put their properties on the market.”

Legal & General Mortgage Club managing director Ben Thompson says: “More positive figures reflect the improving picture in the UK housing market. Perhaps more encouragingly, it appears as though consumer confidence has most definitely picked up, and this is very good news. Positive sentiment and confidence (to make a large commitment like buying a new home) make for a more sustainable and healthy recovery.”

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