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House sales at four year high

Surveyors expect the number of transactions and house prices to continue rising

The number of homes sold in the UK hit an almost four-year high last month, according to figures from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

The average number of properties sold per chartered surveyor in the three months to September was just below 19, the highest figure since November 2009. More than 50 percent more surveyors also reported rises in prices rather than drops across the UK. Last month, every part of the country saw prices go up, with the exception of the North East.

Those surveyed also predicted the growth to continue with a majority saying they expected the number of transactions to increase further over the coming three months and prices to continue rising.

Peter Bolton King, RICS Global Residential Director, said: "It's encouraging that the market is starting to improve in all parts of the country with more buyers looking to make a move and more sales going through. Even so, it's a big concern that the supply of property coming to the market is lagging so far behind demand. This imbalance is likely to result in further upward pressure in prices over the coming months, particularly in the nation's hotspots."

The new Help to Buy mortgage guarantee launched earlier this week with Natwest, RBS, Halifax and Bank of Scotland among those offering new Help to Buy mortgages. Under the scheme, buyers will only need a deposit of as little as 5 per cent. The launch of the scheme has been brought forward by three months.