Page last updated at 06:05 GMT, Tuesday, 14 July 2009 07:05 UK

Surveyors report housing optimism

Sale signs
New instructions in Wales increased significantly, the poll found

There are signs of optimism in the Welsh housing market, the nation's surveyors say.

A Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) poll of its members in Wales found more reports of increased activity among new buyers and sellers.

More surveyors also said they expected house prices to rise and the numbers of sales to increase, compared to last month.

But Cathy McLean, of Rics Wales, said a sustained recovery was "unlikely".

The Rics UK housing market survey of chartered surveyors found that the number of surveyors in Wales who expected price increases rose by 14% from last month.

Some 52% also expected an increase in sales, compared to 35% last month.

It is broadly felt that we are at the bottom of the market but there is no sustained upturn at present
John Caines, of Payton Jewell Caines in Bridgend

This optimism was also witnessed in buyers with the number of surveyors seeing an increase in new buyer inquiries rising to 69% from 54%.

New instructions in Wales increased significantly and the average number of transactions per Welsh agency also rose from 11 to 12 a month, the report found.

Some 28% of surveyors reported an increase in newly agreed sales, up from 18%.

Around Wales opinions differed on the extent and the significance of the increase in market activity.

In Brecon, Powys, estate agent David James reported "much more activity because of lower prices".

Dafydd Hardy, of Anglesey-based Dafydd Hardy Y Gwerthwyr Tai, said he had seen an "increase in activity and some signs of improvement".

Kelvin Francis, of Cardiff-based Kelvin Francis & Co, said the market was continuing to improve, month by month.

He said: "There has been an increase in the number of viewings and the conversion to sales is increasing at a consistent rate."

However John Caines, of Payton Jewell Caines in Bridgend, reported: "No consistent trend across our branches with each week seemingly producing a different set of circumstances.

It is mid summer and we would expect more volume at this time of the year
Roger Davies, Rics Wales member

"It is broadly felt that we are at the bottom of the market but there is no sustained upturn at present."

And Roger Davies, of Ceredigion-based J J Morris, said the market had improved slightly but not with any significant momentum.

"It is mid summer and we would expect more volume at this time of the year," said Mr Davies.

Commenting on the poll, RICS Wales director Cathy McLean said: "Although the market is showing signs of improvement, it is unlikely that there will be a sustained recovery while mortgage lenders remain risk averse.

"A lack of supply on the market is providing a platform for modest price increases.

"While supply remains tight, the market is likely to show tentative signs of recovery but instructions are starting to increase in some regions and will dampen any serious improvement while economic conditions remain uncertain."

Meanwhile, the Welsh Assembly Government has launched a new housing debt helpline to provide free advice to tenants and homeowners struggling to keep a roof over their heads.

Anyone living in Wales can access the service by ringing 0800 107 1340.

The helpline will provide impartial advice from experienced debt counsellors to anyone with mortgage or rent arrears, or threatened with repossession or eviction.



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SEE ALSO
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Home sales may rise say surveyors
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15 Apr 09 |  Business
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House price surveys explained
02 Oct 09 |  Business
Guide to mortgage jargon
14 Apr 09 |  Business

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