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House sales edge up in October

House sales edged up as demand increased in October, according to the latest Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors UK housing market survey.

During October, 8 per cent more chartered surveyors reported newly agreed sales rose rather than fell, representing a rebound in activity after the past month’s dip.

Completed sales rose slightly to an average of 15 per surveyor over the past three months, which represents the highest figure since April.

New buyer enquiries edged up to a net balance of +7 per cent from +4 per cent in September. New instructions moved from a net balance of -4 per cent to +3 per cent in October.

Prices continued to fall, with 24 per cent more surveyors reporting prices fell than rose, from 23 per cent in September.

RICS housing spokesman Ian Perry says: “It is encouraging that activity levels appear to have edged upwards over the past month. Indeed, chartered surveyors are generally upbeat about the near term prospects for transactions.

“However, with the chaotic events in the euro area threatening to spillover to the UK and banks still imposing tough conditions on loans to first time buyers, any recovery in sales is still likely to be relatively modest.”

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