UK house prices continue to climb

18 November 2003
House prices continued to rise during October, with the biggest increases recorded in the North and West, according to new figures out today.

The latest survey from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) concluded that house prices rose sharply in most regions, with 18 per cent more surveyors reporting price rises than price falls.

The majority of surveyors said that they were optimistic that house prices would remain buoyant into 2004, despite this month's decision by the Monetary Policy Committee of the Bank of England to raise interest rates by a quarter per cent to 3.75 per cent.

RICS warned that gazumping - where sellers drop a deal at the last minute to grab a better one - may be reappearing, particularly at the top end of the capital's housing market.

The vast majority of surveyors in the North and North West said that prices were rising in October, while in Wales, the West Midlands, London and Yorkshire, a majority of surveyors said that prices were rising or were at a standstill.

In fact, only in East Anglia and the South East are more surveyors reporting price falls than rises.

On Monday, a survey from property website Rightmove indicated that prices were calming down in the run up to Christmas. Recent surveys from Halifax and Nationwide recorded strong price growth in October.