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Surveyors predict a post election bounce in the UK property market

Sentiment rebounded in April helped by the better weather with 17% more surveyors reporting a rise than a fall in property prices, up from 9% in March, according to the RICS April UK Housing Market survey published today (11 May 2010).
London led the upsurge in positive price sentiment with 55% more surveyors reporting a rise, up from 32% in March. Elsewhere, surveyors are still reporting house price rises in every region except for Wales and Yorkshire and Humberside.
Activity is expected to rise over the coming months with many surveyors anticipating a post election bounce. The sales expectations net balance rose from 6% to 25%. While the price expectations net balance rose from a negative 2% to a positive 7%.
The newly agreed sales net balance turned positive for the first time this year and 12% more surveyors saw vendors agree a sale up from a negative reading of 8% in March. The net balance on newly agreed sales in London jumped from 1% to 45%, although the strongest reading was in the North West.
The average number of completed sales rose for the first time in three months to 17.4% per surveyor, while the average stock of property on surveyors’ books decreased by 6% on the month to 61 properties per surveyor.  This had the effect of raising the sales to stock ratio, a key indicator of future house price inflation, from 25% in March to 28% in April. This is the first upward movement of this indicator in 2010.
The survey also shows that a net balance of 11% of surveyors saw a rise in new instructions while new buyer enquiries rose from 1% to 8%.
‘For much of 2010, the housing market has been under the shadow of the general election with the gap between supply and demand growing wider as potential house buyers opted to stand on the sidelines awaiting the outcome of the poll,’ said RICS spokesperson, Jeremy Leaf.
‘However, the start of spring has seen renewed optimism with the good weather improving sentiment and surveyors expecting an increase in both sales and house prices. The housing market often sees an increase in new instructions in the early part of the year with sales boosted in the spring and this year has been no exception,’ he added.