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UK house sales hit highest levels for 3 years

Written by Sam Jones on 13 June 2013.

UK house sales reached their highest level in more than three years in May, according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

UK house sales reached their highest level in more than three years in May, according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

The latest RICS residential market survey shows that in the three months running up to May this year sales were the highest since January 2010. Chartered surveyors reported selling an average of17.9 properties during the period, just below the average of 18 in January 2010.

More encouragingly surveyors expect sales to continue to rise over the next three months with 35 per cent more expecting transactions to grow compared to just 26 per cent last month.

In may nearly a third of surveyors reported increases in buyer inquiries rather than falls, the highest inquiry rates cine October 2009.

RICS also reported house prices rises in May with 5 per cent more surveyors reporting increase than decreases. Optimism is also high for further increase in the next three months with 20 per cent more surveyors expecting growth.

It is welcome news for first time buyer mortgage deals who have been running scared of the housing market in fear of price falls.

The influential study shows a housing market that is rising from its slumber after nearly five years of low mortgage lending and flat house price growth.

The combination of a more optimistic economic outlook and Government interventions such as Help to Buy and funding for lending is starting to hit home.

Optimism

In addition influential policymakers such as Bank of England governor Sir Mervyn King have spoken of the “green shoots” of economic recovery.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development is also predicting aunnier climes ahead for the UK.

In its economic tracker it rated the UK at 100.8 for April, up from 100.7 in March and 100.6 in February.  A rating of 100 means reflects the trend for a country's economic trajectory so anything higher shows it is doing better than expected.

Weak confidence among home buyers and movers has seen many reluctant to take the major step of tying themselves to a property and mortgages. But the time to enter the housing market is ripe with mortgage rates at all time lows, Government schemes to help with 5 per cent deposits and a housing market picking up steam.

The positive economic data and optimism can only help to boost the UK mortgage market as banks recover from their lending appetite.The RICS survey is the latest in optimistic economic data and shows a rosy future for the housing market.

UK property has proven both a steady investment for decades and there are signs borrowers could benefit once again in the future.

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