15 Apr

Survey 'hints at market improvements'

Survey 'hints at market improvements'

The latest survey by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) of its members has shown further improvements in a number of indicators of property market health.

RICS noted that new buyer enquiries rose for the fifth successive month in March, with 31 per cent more surveyors reporting a rise in these than a fall, up from February's balance of 21 per cent.

Sales per agent were also up slightly, from 9.6 to 9.7 each.

The balance of surveyors seeing a fall in prices was still negative at 73.1 per cent, but this had improved from the previous month's 78.1 per cent.

RICS spokesman Ian Perry commented that new buyer interest is "gaining real momentum", adding: "With demand continuing to pick up, there may be more signs of stabilisation in the coming months."

However, he said, it is important that there is more access to mortgage finance to avoid frustrating the hopes of many first-time buyers.

Figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders this week suggested that the supply of mortgage finance improved in February with a four per cent rise in lending for home purchases.

The month saw 24,300 completions, compared with 23,400 in January.

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