Housing market bounces back

21 October 2003
House prices rose in September as more buyers entered the market, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) claims.

The institution's latest survey found that, despite prices suffering six consecutive monthly falls this year, the housing market had done better than expected in September. The market cooled earlier this year, after last year saw record house price rises of more than 25 per cent.

The study showed that 49 per cent more surveyors in England and Wales reported seeing a rise in the number of people looking to buy a property during the three months to the end of September, up from 16 per cent in August and just 11 per cent in July.

Housing spokesman Jeremy Leaf explained "We would expect to see more market activity in September as people turn their attention away from summer pursuits and focus on moving house, but this year it has picked up more than usual.

"There seems to be increasing demand for middle market housing in desirable areas across the country and buyers are snapping up these properties quickly."

Rics revealed that all northern regions enjoyed price rises during September, most notably in the North and North West, while price falls experienced in the South during the spring and summer have now halted, and some areas, such as the South West, are starting to pick up.

Only East Anglia registered a price fall, according to the survey, and house prices levelled off in London.

Overall confidence remained strong, with 43 per cent of surveyors expecting price rises over the next three months, compared with 23 per cent in August.