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Housing market sees rise in activity

Housing market sees rise in activity

Category: Economy

Updated: 08/11/2011
First Published: 08/11/2011

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Activity in the housing market picked up in October, as sales levels increased and demand from homebuyers edged higher.

According to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), a rising number of estate agents reported newly agreed sales rose rather than fell last month, taking the reading to its highest level since April 2010.

Attributing the improvement to a more realistic attitude from sellers, RICS said there appeared to be a growing willingness to take offers in order to secure a sale.

Meanwhile, the volume of completed sales also increased slightly to its strongest level since April.

However, it was noted that if buyers are able to access mortgage finance, banks are taking a long time to agree lending terms, and consequently slowing down the purchase process.

Elsewhere amongst the data it was revealed that enquiries from new buyers had climbed slightly higher.

New instructions from people wanting to put their property on the market also increased.

Despite the improvements, estate agents suggested that buyers remained cautious, mainly because of the problems in the Eurozone and the relative shortage of mortgage loans.

Calling the rise in activity 'encouraging', Ian Perry, RICS housing spokesperson, added: "Indeed, chartered surveyors are generally upbeat about the near term prospects for transactions."

"However, with the chaotic events in the euro area threatening to spill over to the UK and banks still imposing tough conditions on loans to first time buyers, any recovery in sales is still likely to be relatively modest.

"This will inevitably leave many people who would like to own a home unable to access the market."

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