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House sales hit four-year high

House sales hit four-year high

The number of homes sold in the UK hit an almost four-year high last month as the housing market recovery continues to gather pace, according to the September RICS Residential Market Survey.

The average amount of properties sold per chartered surveyor in the three months to September reached 18.7. Although still historically low, this is the highest figure since November 2009 and demonstrates the extent to which the market is now picking up across the country.

In tandem with increasing numbers of sales, prices continued to grow with 54% more respondents reporting rises rather than falls. Prices have now steadily increased since Easter and, significantly, this growth was seen right across the UK. Last month, every part of the country saw prices go up, with the exception of the North East where prices fell modestly for the second successive month.

Unsurprisingly, with government schemes such as Help to Buy enabling more buyers to access the market, demand rose steadily during September as a net balance of 49% more surveyors reported rises in new buyer enquiries. While the amount of homes coming onto the market also rose, it was not enough to keep pace with the burgeoning level of demand.

Looking ahead, predictions for future growth are equally upbeat. A net balance of 56% more respondents expect the number of transactions to increase further over the coming three months, while 48% more predict prices to continue their push upwards.

Peter Bolton King, RICS Global Residential Director, said: "It's encouraging that the market is starting to improve in all parts of the country with more buyers looking to make a move and more sales going through. Even so, it's a big concern that the supply of property coming to the market is lagging so far behind demand.

"This imbalance is likely to result in further upward pressure in prices over the coming months, particularly in the nation's hotspots."