Sales Of Homes At Three-Year High, Claims Rics

Date Published 13 June 2013

The number of homes sold in the UK over the past three months reached its highest level for over three years.

The RICS said yesterday that transactions are now at their highest since January 2010 as buyers across the country begin to return to the market.

According to the RICS, agents sold on average 17.9 properties during the three months to May. RICS members also expect sales to continue rising over the next three months.

The RICS says the key driver behind this jump in activity is the rise in buyer interest – the highest since October 2009 and, says the organisation, `a sign that market confidence is gradually being restored`.

New instructions have also picked up, says the RICS, with more home owners being enticed to test the market.

It does, however, warn that despite the rise in new instructions, average stock levels per branch actually fell last month.

It attributes the rise in confidence to the Bank of England’s Funding for Lending scheme, with the new Help to Buy policy also taking effect.

The RICS also reports that prices up edged in May.

Comments made by RICS participants in the survey show how localised the market is. For example, in Felixstowe, Suffolk, surveyor Richard Bannister reports: `Hoped-for improvement in the market is very slow in coming. Confidence just not there.`

However, in Twickenham, west London, Jeff Doble simply notes: `Excellent market.`

Peter Bolton King, RICS global residential director, said: `May was an interesting month for the housing market. More people decided to get out there and view property and more transactions went through than in quite some time.

`Most encouragingly of all, though, is that stability is not confined purely to London and the South-East, as has been the case, but is now starting to extend to areas right across the country.

`There is still a very long way to go until we see a full-scale recovery, but green shoots are beginning to sprout.`