House prices bounce back in the capital

 
Julian Harris
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LONDON is rebounding from the UK’s housing market slump, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) revealed today.

While house prices continued to fall throughout the rest of the country, prices actually rose in the capital in February, according to the latest RICS survey.

A positive balance of 14 per cent of surveyors reported jumps in London house prices, compared to negative balances in all other regions.

The south east was the least negative, with 16 per cent more surveyors reporting a decline in prices than a rise.

“Broad trends in the survey indicate an increasing variation in the housing market across the UK with London and to a lesser extent the south east operating in a very different orbit,” said RICS spokesperson Jeremy Leaf.

Wales (-58 per cent) and Yorkshire and Humberside (-51 per cent) were the worst performing regions.

London was also the only region to report positive price expectations for the next three months.

And new buyer enquiries were up strongly in the capital, well above the national average. Only Scotland recorded a larger increase in new enquiries for house purchases in February.

Across the UK, 26 per cent more surveyors said that prices fell in February, compared to those who said prices rose.

However, despite house prices continuing to drop nationally, there were signs that the market may be about to bottom out.

A majority – 56 per cent – of respondents have reported prices as level for two months in a row, according to the section of data that is not adjusted for seasonal variations. And less than a third, 32 per cent, of surveyors reported lower prices in February – down from 50 per cent in December.