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Buyer enquiries up for fifth consecutive month, says Rics

New enquiries for house purchase were up in March for the fifth month in a row, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors reports.

Rics says 31 per cent more surveyors reported an increase rather than a drop in new buyer enquiries, compared to 21 per cent in February.

Buyer enquiries were up more steeply in London with 63 per cent more surveyors reporting a rise than a fall in new buyer enquiries, up from 46 percent in February.

The sales to stock ratio, which Rics says is a key gauge of market slack, has risen for the third consecutive month indicating that some stabilisation in prices may occur later in the year.

The balance of surveyors reporting house price falls dropped slightly in March with 73.1 percent more surveyors reporting a fall than rise in house prices, from 78.1 percent in February.

Rics spokesman Ian Perry says: “Buyer interest is starting to gain real momentum but will remain frustrated while mortgage finance is scarce.

“Surveyors are optimistic that transaction levels will increase, especially for those with the finance to purchase family homes.

“However, accessibility for first time buyers is likely to remain difficult while loan to value ratios generally remain at current levels.

“The market is still in a fragile state but with demand continuing to pick up, there may be more signs of stabilisation in the coming months.”

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