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London house prices should buck trend

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More surveyors than less expect positive price growth in the Capital for the first time since mid-2010. Scotland came second to London in terms of positive price expectations, while the East Midlands and Yorkshire and Humberside recorded the weakest expectations, according to the latest Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) survey.

This weakness in housing market activity is also being reflected in transaction levels. In the three months to January, average sales per surveyor slipped back to 14.6, against 15.2 in December and the lowest figure since June 2009.

 However, surveyors remain cautiously optimistic, despite a mixed picture across the UK. Chartered surveyor, Richard Bannister, from Bannister & Company, in Felixstowe, Suffolk reports sales falling due to buyer uncertainty about financing and lack of first-time buyers, but added: “Interesting however that enquiries are improving – more viewings but still difficult to get commitment.”

Another surveyor, Greg Davidson Graham and Sibbald, Perth, Perthshire, said the poor weather in December heavily restricted any activity in what was already going to be a slow month. “Early 2011 may be artificially boosted as a result but I have been encouraged by activity levels in January with some strong sales, closing dates and improved interest. Hopefully this can continue into the traditionally stronger spring market and help to improve overall confidence.”

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