House buying on the up in Wales survey finds
There has been a significant increase in the number of people buying homes in Wales, a survey suggests.
The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) said their figures for July also show a rise in home prices.
The institution attributes the improvements to programmes which offer financial help to buyers, whilst mortgage rates have also fallen, making repayments cheaper.
The trend is expected to continue for the rest of 2013.
The Rics survey found more chartered surveyors in Wales reporting an increase in demand - with more confidence that prices are moving upwards too.
HOUSING MARKET SURVEY
- A net balance of 72% more chartered surveyors reported increases in demand than those reporting a drop or demand staying the same
- A net balance of 16% more surveyors reported rising prices - the most positive reading since start of 2013
- A net balance of 11% more surveyors predict more house price increases
- 49% more respondents expect sales to rise rather than fall over the coming three months.
- Source: Rics Wales, August 2013
Every part of the UK saw a price rise, according to Rics, although London and the areas around it continued to see the biggest price increases.
Ben Collins, director of Rics Wales, said: "It looks like at long last a recovery could be around the corner.
"Steady buyer numbers and prices have been happening in some parts of the country since the beginning of the year but this is the first time that everywhere has experienced some improvement.
"It is clearly good news for the Welsh property market, which has struggled during the last few years."
Figures also show that more sellers are testing the market by placing their homes up for sale.
Dafydd Hardy, director of Dafydd Hardy Chartered Surveyors Estate Agency, in north west Wales, told BBC Radio Wales that there had been an improvement since 2012 but urged caution.
"We're seeing some return of confidence for more first time buyers but there's a long way to go," he said.
"Prices are pretty static. Certainly they aren't rising in north west Wales and not in other areas either.
"For most properties there is more than one person interested, especially for first time buyers."
But he said there was a lack of new developments in north west Wales.
Cardiff-based estate agent Kelvin Francis said: "Viewing levels, generally, are still high, although the recent hot spell has brought about a number of cancellations at weekends as viewers make the most of the weather.
"There has been a steady flow of new instructions, falling off in the last two weeks, which is to be expected during the holiday period."
Jessica Davies and Obied Berki from Cardiff got the keys to their first home this month.
Ms Davies described the whole process as fun but stressful at times.
"Getting appointments to fit around work was quite tedious and it was hard to find a house we loved. For a while we didn't think it was going to happen."
Once the couple found the right home and had their offer accepted, it took almost four months to complete the sale.
The process took longer because the survey showed up some problems. The couple had to go back to the seller to renegotiate the price.
Mr Berki also says that finding a solicitor was not as easy as expected.
"It took a while. I phoned about 10 altogether to get different quotes. I would definitely recommend calling as many solicitors as possible to get a good price."
The couple warn buyers that often they need to act as middle-men to coordinate between agents and solicitors.
"Be prepared to chase people," says Jessica.
"We ended up phoning the estate agents and solicitors every other day to get the deal completed as quickly as possible."