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High hopes for house prices

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Expectations of property price inflation are now running at the highest level since 1999.

A stark imbalance between the supply of and demand for property has pushed anticipated price rises to the highest level since September 1999.

The latest survey from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) reveals that 59% of its members expect UK property prices to increase over the next three months, as the number of homes coming to the market for sale falls well short of the number of buyers looking to purchase a property. 

According to the report, the number of surveyors predicting an increase in property transactions in 2014 rose to a record level, with 76% of surveyors expecting sales to increase – the highest level since records began in 1998.

RICS cautioned that unless there is a’ meaningful increase’ in the supply of residential property in the UK, there is a risk that both house prices and rents will reach ‘unaffordable’ levels.

In the three months to November, each estate agency branch sold an average of just over 20 properties, compared to 15 a year earlier. Every region of the UK saw prices rise.

John Bagshaw, corporate services director of Connells Survey & Valuation, said:

“2013 has been a year of record highs as the housing market has returned to form. Our data found that the number of first-time buyers in August 2013 overtook those in the market peak of August 2007.

“Help to Buy is assisting thousands of buyers to overcome huge obstacles created by wage freezes, inflation and lower saving rates, to realise their dreams of buying property, and the housing market is thriving as a result.”

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