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Buyer interest edges up

Buyer interest edges up

Category: Mortgages

Updated: 10/04/2012
First Published: 10/04/2012

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This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

Interest from potential house buyers increased last month, although it is yet to be seen if the trend can continue.

New buyer enquiries edged up by 9% in March, with 9% more surveyors also reporting a rise in enquires than those seeing a fall.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) said it is the highest reading in almost two years and suggests that the final weeks of the stamp duty holiday saw buyers looking to beat the deadline.

Meanwhile, prices continued to edge downward across all areas of the country except in London, albeit at a slower pace than in recent months.

Ten percent more surveyors reported falls rather than rises in prices, representing the least negative reading since June 2010.

Predictions for future prices across the UK remained flat for the second consecutive month, suggesting that gently increasing levels of demand may be contributing to a more realistic outlook.

However, regional variations were evident with the North, East Anglia and Scotland seeing buyer interest drop, while surveyors elsewhere reported a steady increase.

"Demand saw a slight boost in March as many first time buyers looked to beat the stamp duty holiday deadline," RICS chief economist Simon Rubinsohn, said.

"There has been a gentle increase in activity across the market in the early part of the year but it remains to be seen is whether this can continue, given the changes in the Budget and ongoing problems affecting the economy.

" London continues to outperform the rest of the UK in terms of prices but, interestingly, the North West did see an increase in activity in March."

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