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More people selling houses

17 February 2004
New data indicating a consistently high percentage of sales in the property market suggests room for future growth in the UK housing market.

According to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) 40 per cent of members have received instructions to sell houses in January, with only four per cent reporting a fall.

These figures represent a strong growth compared to those for December last year, with a net balance of 36 per cent representing a strong pick-up from the 22 per cent recorded at the end of 2003.

In addition the Council of Mortgage Lenders said that "lifetime" mortgage lending grew by nearly 69 per cent last year, with somewhere in the region of 25,000 lifetime mortgages, worth more than £1 billion, were lent in total last year.

The average loan taken out in the second half of last year was £44,000, and the typical minimum age for borrowers was 60, according to the Financial Times.

Despite concerns that interest rates were set to rise further in 2004, Rics maintains that homeowners remain encouraged by a positive economic outlook.