Page last updated at 12:31 GMT, Tuesday, 13 October 2009 13:31 UK

Welsh housing market tops UK poll

House keys
Two-bed starter homes are being snapped up, say Rics Wales

The Welsh housing market is attracting more interest from new buyers than anywhere else in the UK, say surveyors.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors'(Rics) said the number of its members reporting a boost in such inquiries rose in September.

Tony Filice of Rics Wales said this "confirmed" the recovery of the housing market in Wales.

However the poll also found that overall new instructions in Wales fell by 27% and transactions fell by 2%.

According to the Rics' UK Housing Market survey, the number of surveyors in Wales reporting an increase in inquiries from new buyers rose 12% between August and September.

This was the highest figure across the UK.

Any significant upturn we feel will be delayed to at least next spring as there is still far too much 'old stock' to move
Andrew Morgan, Morgan & Davies

The poll also found that 11% more Welsh chartered surveyors said they expected an increase in house prices over the same period - the highest figure for price expectations since April 2007.

The balance of chartered surveyors in Wales reporting rises rather than falls in house prices also improved by 15%.

Mr Filice, residential spokesman for Rics Wales, said: "The recovery of the housing market in Wales is confirmed by having the highest increase in new buyer enquires in the UK."

"First time buyers are able to get competitive funding and are 'snapping up' typical two-bed starter homes at or very close to the asking prices."

This is freeing up people to move upwards in the market, he said.

"The market goes from strength to strength on a weekly basis," said Mr Filice, "and this will continue to improve as long as the mortgage market remains competitive and freely available."

But surveyors across Wales differed in their reports on the general state of the housing market in their area.

Buyers lack confidence
John Nicholas, JJ Morris

In Bangor, Gwynedd, Dafydd Hardy of Dafydd Hardy Y Gwerthwyr Tai, said people were "still moving for all the same reasons, larger family, nearer work, downsizing."

He added that media coverage was having a "massive" effect.

John Nicholas of JJ Morris in Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, said: "Buyers lack confidence which is reflected in static or in some cases reduced 'sale agreeds'."

Paul Lucas of RK Lucas & Son, also in Haverfordwest, reported that confidence was slowly returning to the market but added: "Finance facilities are still difficult to obtain."

While in Lampeter, Ceredigion, Andrew Morgan of Morgan & Davies, warned: "Any significant upturn we feel will be delayed to at least next spring as there is still far too much 'old stock' to move, which continues to contribute to a stagnation period in the market."

Across the rest of the UK, the number of chartered surveyors reporting a rise in house prices jumped from 9.9% in August to 21.5% in September, a rise of 11.6%.



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