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RICS survey shows housing market 'fluttering into life'

Activity in the housing market picked up in October as sellers began taking lower offers for their homes, according to the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors.

While still at historic lows, there was evidence that the housing market was fluttering into life, according to the latest RICS UK Housing Market survey.

The survey showed a balance of 8 oer cent of surveyors recording a rise in the total number of sales compared with a balance of -3 per cent in September.

However, the RICS also noted that only London was seeing prices hold up, while the rest of the country was seeing falls.

Some 24 per cent more surveyors reported prices falls rather than increases in October - up from 23 per cent in September. However, more than half of all respondents indicated that prices were stable and of those reporting a decline, almost three quarters suggested the extent of the fall was between 0 and 2 per cent.

There was also some cheer for UK builders as projected demand appeared to increase with the results of the survey showed a balance of 7 per cent more surveyors reporting new buyer enquiries.

RICS housing spokesman Ian Perry said the results were positive overall.

“It is encouraging that activity levels appear to have edged upwards over the past month. Indeed, chartered surveyors are generally upbeat about the near term prospects for transactions,” he said.

“However, with the chaotic events in the euro area threatening to spillover to the UK and banks still imposing tough conditions on loans to first time buyers, any recovery in sales is still likely to be relatively modest. This will inevitably leave many people who would like to own a home unable to access the market.”

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