Financial News

  • 14 August 2014, 14:44

Home Sales 'Highest For Seven Years'

Chartered surveyors are selling as many properties as they did before the start of the financial crisis.

In a monthly poll of its members, the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has found that on average, the number of homes sold per surveyor in July went up to 24.6.

That's the highest amount since June 2007, when the average number was 25.2.

The pick-up in sales per surveyor is a further sign that the housing boom is continuing across the UK. In January 2009, in the midst of the economic crisis, surveyors were only selling on average 9.8 houses per month.

Prices are projected to increase by 2.6% over the next 12 months, according to respondents to RICS.

The state of the UK housing market continues to be of concern to the Bank of England. However, in its inflation reportthis week it predicted house price growth would halve by next spring to around 0.5% per month.

A report from the Halifax earlier this month showed house prices across the country rose 1.4% in July.

In London, often seen as a hotbed for house prices, only 10% of chartered surveyors reported an increase in July, compared to 30% in June.

RICS chief economist Simon Rubinsohn added: "Members now expect price gains over the next year to be faster outside of the capital, than in it."

Some elements of the poll hinted that the market might be normalising. Surveyors reported the first drop in demand for houses to be surveyed since January 2013, as well as an increase in supply for the second consecutive month.

In other news that the market is stabilising, the Council for Mortgage Lenders (CML) has released data showing the number of mortgages in arrears of 2.5% or more of the balance is at its lowest since the first quarter of 2008.

The RICS Residential Market Survey is the longest-running monthly survey of house prices in the UK.

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