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House prices and buyer demand continue to rise

signsRising prices and increasing buyer demand have led to significant increases in homes coming onto the housing market in England and Wales, according to the August RICS Residential Market Survey.

In recent months the market has been held up by relatively low numbers of new properties coming up for sale, however during August, 26% more chartered surveyors reported increases not decreases in new instructions (up from plus 16% in July).

Although supply did jump considerably last month, it did not rise sharply enough to keep pace with the sheer weight of demand, according to RICS. During August, the number of would-be buyers increased yet again as increasingly accessible finance allowed more people to enter the market. A net balance of 66% more respondents reported growing numbers of enquiries from potential buyers last month.

A balance of 40% also reported price rises rather than falls: the highest figure since November 2006.

All regions of England and Wales saw supply increase as the recovery continues to spread from the South East of England to other areas. The South West and the North East, in particular, saw the number of new homes coming onto the market rise significantly.

Average sale per surveyor (over the last three months) increased to 17.9 in August, the highest level

since January 2010. However, average stocks per surveyor also picked up over the month, leaving

the sales to stock ratio more or less unchanged at 26.5%. The sales to stock ratio - a key gauge of

market slack - is more than 3% higher than it was twelve months ago, and more than double its nadir of December 2008.

'It's not surprising that more and more people are looking to sell their homes. The buyers are out there and prices are on the up so if you're looking to move it's a good time to do so. 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,' says Peter Bolton King, RICS global residential director.