High point for house sales

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House sales in Yorkshire and Humber have reached a three-year high, according to the latest Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors UK Housing Market Survey.

Chartered surveyors in the region sold an average of 20 homes from the start of January to the end of March, the highest number since September 2010.

RICS says confidence has been slowly returning to the region’s housing market since the end of 2012, with house prices remaining relatively stable over the last six months and only 15 percent of agents anticipating further price falls.

However, RICS says even though sales have increased over the last three months, overall activity in March fell, with more chartered surveyors in the region reporting demand for property decreased.

The organisation reckons this is most likely due to buyers waiting for the weather to warm up before committing to purchases and it adds that the government’s recent effort to encourage banks to offer more affordable mortgages is expected to assist purchasers throughout the rest of the year.

RICS says the shortfall of fresh stock coming to the market still remains a key issue for buyers, with eight percent more chartered surveyors in the region saying the number of homes coming on to the market fell rather than rose last month.

Global residential director Peter Bolton King said: “A buoyant, healthy property market is central to economic recovery and, while these are still very much early signs, it is encouraging that sales are beginning to pick-up.

“Thanks to initiatives such as Funding for Lending, mortgages are becoming more accessible to buyers, which is gently easing the pressure on the market and freeing up stagnant chains.”