According to the most recent data from the RCIS, Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, has shown that the balance of UK house prices has risen from -14 to -7 during October, the highest level recorded for over 2 years. This rise came mainly from a rush of enquiries which rose from 5 to 18, which is the fastest gain since December of 2009.
Ian Perry, spokesman for the RCIS, says that the number of potential buyers who are actually going out to view properties saw a very welcome boost in October, but he warned that overall, activity was still pretty low in most parts of the UK and first time buyers were still struggling to gain access to mortgage products they could afford.
This report, which is being interpreted by some as evidence, albeit tentative, that the housing market is finally stabilising, comes on the eve of the latest inflation data, which is expected to show that the prices consumers pay has seen a moderate increase. The Bank of England’s Inflation Report is also expected to bring with it new forecasts for inflation and growth. The gauge for price expectations over 3 months rose to -9 from -3, the highest in 9 months.
The index for new sale agreements rose to 20 from 0, the highest level since December 2009. Although the sales outlook deteriorated slightly, with the sales balance for the 3 months ahead falling from 27 to 25, it still remained well over the long term average of the series. Geographically, London is still outperforming the rest of the UK, even though the south east of Britain reported that house prices had risen for the first time in more than 2 years.