Property values to surge: surveyors

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A spike in demand from buyers is likely to bump up house prices for the rest of the year.

A hike in the number of house buyers threatens to push prices up further over the next few months, the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has suggested.

A net balance of two-thirds of surveyors said they had received growing numbers of enquiries from potential buyers. The poll suggested the number of sellers was also increasing, but not at the same pace.

In August, 40% more surveyors reported house prices rising rather than falling – the highest percentage since November 2006. A net balance of 45% more surveyors said they expected further price growth over the next three months.

RICS global residential director Peter Bolton King said it was a good time to sell a home:

“What we don’t wish to see, however, is prices rise to such an extent that they become unaffordable.

“For the market to work properly, it’s vital that property is both accessible and affordable, and we’ll be monitoring the situation very carefully as the housing sector continues to recover.”

Legal & General Mortgage Club managing director Ben Thompson added to the concern about house prices:

“As the recovery spreads slowly into more regions, the focus will inevitably turn towards rising house prices and how steep rises can be avoided.”

The government should explore ways to assist the rapid expansion of house building, he added.

The housing market recovery was beginning to spread from the South East of England to other areas, the RICS poll found. The South West and the North East also saw the number of new homes coming onto the market rise significantly, surveyors said.