UK home sales highest for six years, says Rics

 

Peter Bolton King from Rics says there is no need to panic with regard to rising house prices

The number of UK homes sold per surveyor has more than doubled since the depth of the housing market downturn, a survey suggests.

Just over 21 sales per estate agency branch were recorded in the final three months of 2013, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) said.

This was the highest number since March 2008, and up from 9.8 in January 2009.

The survey found surveyors expected prices and sales to keep rising.

Supply shortage

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Rising prices - which have been a feature of recent months - have mainly been the result of more buyers chasing the relatively few homes on the market.

"Unless we see a marked increase in the number of homes coming up for sale we could well be looking at a price rises becoming unsustainable in some areas," said Peter Bolton King, global residential director at Rics.

Yet housebuilder Bovis Homes said in a statement on Thursday that the number of new homes being completed was rising, and there had been a big rise in the number of forward sales.

The statement came ahead of its full-year results, which it said would show a "significant increase in profit before tax for 2013".

Its average sale price was up 14% to £195,100, because it had built more homes in the south of England and more larger properties, it said.

Predictions

A number of commentators have predicted average price rises of between 4% and 8% in the UK in 2014.

The latest house price survey from the Office for National Statistics showed that year-on-year property price growth stood at 5.4% in the UK in November.

Excluding London and the south east of England, the ONS said prices were up by 3.1%.

The Bank of England has recently pulled back from offering cheaper funds for lenders to hand on in mortgages through the Funding for Lending scheme.

 

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  • rate this
    +8

    Comment number 410.

    I have a small online estate agency in central London. Its carnage. Started doing this in Jan 1995 and not seen anything like it. Average boring flats go to sealed bids of sometimes 20 participants. Its not unreasonable to suggest that what someone moved into in November is now worth 10% more.

    As agents we much prefer balanced markets, as a person I recognise that something has to happen.

  • rate this
    +8

    Comment number 403.

    House prices are a sign of returning confidence in the economy- so good? Well not if you're young and looking to buy at what seem to be inflated prices. We need to build more homesto meet pent up demand and only increased supply of property will keep prices from going up. Ask then in ireland what happens if you build too many homes though - prices collapse. We need a strong steady sector.

  • rate this
    +24

    Comment number 97.

    As long as there is a housing shortage the bubble will never be popped. That is the reality of the situation.

    There is an issue in our culture - there is a stigma against renting. Go to our neighbours in Europe - many more rent than own, it is a natural thing to do. We need to consider this as a solution - to build more council and low rent homes and flats.

  • rate this
    +29

    Comment number 80.

    That is fine if you live in the South, here in North Lincolnshire prices are not moving at all. My modern 4 bedroom detached has been for sale for almost two years and even after a reduction of £11k to £169k it stands empty. This just demonstrates the weakness in Government and Bank of England policy to encourage house sales to build a stronger economy. There is life north of Watford.

  • rate this
    +8

    Comment number 79.

    We bought a house in Greater London last year. We paid 50k more than anyone in the road ever has done for their properties. I feel miserable about that fact but it was better than the dire situation in rented that drove us desperate to buy. We put down 25% to secure 2.99% interest for 5yrs. Just hope I'm paid more by then since interest rates are likely to go up! But it's nice having our own home.

 

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