THE number of house sales has grown for the fourth month running in the North East, says the latest Rics housing market survey.
During January, chartered surveyors across the region reported a further increase in the number of newly- agreed sales with a net balance of 57% more stating that levels rose.
Despite this, prices continued to dip during the first month of the year with nearly a third more North East respondents saying prices fell.
Demand from would-be purchasers has held firm since the start of the new year, with a net balance of 1% of surveyors suggesting that new buyer inquiries grew during January. This was also accompanied by a slight boost in the number of homes coming up for sale in the region.
Elsewhere in the UK, prices remained in positive territory in London and the South East while also moving into positive territory in Wales for the first time since the early part of 2010.
Looking ahead, North East chartered surveyors are pessimistic over future prices with falls expected over the coming three months.
Additionally, they predict sales will continue to grow, albeit at a slightly slower pace than in recent months. Paul McSkimmings, of Edward Watson Associates, said: “The recent poor weather does not appear to have stopped buyers proceeding with their purchases and I would expect the number of transactions to be at a similar volume to last year. However, lack of mortgage finance continues to be an issue.”
Peter Bolton King, Rics global residential director, said: “Price falls across the UK have gradually stemmed in recent months and it is interesting to see that the amount of completed transactions are on the rise, as confidence returns to the marketplace.
“While it is still very early days to talk about a comprehensive market recovery, activity levels are still encouraging and there is some optimism out there that things could continue to improve.”