House prices 'strongest for two years'

16 June 2006
House prices have shown their strongest rise in growth for two years, according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors' (RICS) UK housing market survey published yesterday (15th June).

Consumer confidence and a healthy economy have fuelled growth in the property sector. One-fifth more chartered surveyors reported rising rather than falling demand in May, compared with 15 per cent in April.

A spokesman for RICS, Jeremy Leaf, suggested that a rising number of people who are already invested in the property market were looking to move up the ladder, which was fostering growth.

"The strength of the housing market suggests consumer confidence in the UK economy," he said. "Buyers are trading up the housing ladder and have blown dust from their wallets as interest rates remain stable."

Mr Leaf moderated his comments when it came to predictions of short-term price growth, however: "The upturn in the number of sellers will keep a lid on house price rises going into the second half of 2006," he warned.

He also noted that the introduction of housing information packs and new houses of multiple occupation legislation due in the coming year "may encourage more people to sell before June 2007", stymieing any potential price hikes.

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