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UK property sales hit 16-month high

published on 21/10/2015  

Residential property sales have improved across the UK, reaching a 16-month high in September, the latest index report from RICS has revealed.
It was the fifth month in a row that agreed sales rose, with the greatest increases over the month witnessed in the North, East Anglia and Scotland.
According to RICS, this was the sixth consecutive month that the number of new buyer enquiries has increased, supported in part by less stringent mortgage lending conditions, with 18 per cent more chartered surveyors reporting a rise in demand.
Despite the increase in activity levels, the report also identified a lack of new instructions, which has fallen in 13 of the past 14 months, for continuing to hold back sales growth.
“Activity is now picking up which is encouraging, but unless the stock being sold is replenished there is a limit to how sustainable this modest improvement in market turnover will prove to be. And, unfortunately, the indications are that we are locked in a cycle where the lack of available properties on agents’ books is itself deterring some potential vendors from thinking about putting their own property on the market,” said Simon Rubinsohn (left), RICS Chief Economist.
RICS forecast that home prices will increase across many parts of the UK in the coming months as a result of the persistent supply-demand imbalance, according to the report.
Mr Rubinsohn added, “Against this backdrop, it is hard not to see prices continuing to move higher over the coming months and into the early part of 2016, notwithstanding the present concerns regarding the affordability of housing in some areas of the UK that are being highlighted by respondents.”
September marked the 42nd successive month of positive annual growth in house prices, with average property values now £11,500, or 4.2 per cent, higher than a year ago, setting the ninth price record this year to reach £284,742, according to fresh data from the LSL England & Wales House Price Index.