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Housing market bounce-back: Property prices rise at fastest rate since 2006 peak

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House prices are rising at their fastest pace since they hit a peak in 2006, a new report from surveyors published today shows. Meanwhile the number of would-be buyers looking to enter the market last month saw the strongest growth in four years.

The RICS Residential Market Survey reports that in July the number of potential buyers looking to enter the market grew at its fastest rate since July 2009.

That sends a strong signal that a recovery is close, according to the surveyors’ organisation.

Peter Bolton King, Rics global residential director, said: “It looks like at long last a recovery could be around the corner.”

The latest figures show that the recovery is not just restricted to the wealthy areas. While the market slipped backwards and remained depressed in most parts of the country, activity has been picking up in London and the South East. But, according to RICS, the market re-invigoration is now starting to manifest itself in the rest of the UK too.

“Growth in buyer numbers and prices have been happening in some parts of the country since the beginning of the year but this is the first time that everywhere has experienced some improvement,” said Mr Bolton King.

“It is clearly good news that those parts of the property market that were struggling are at last showing some signs of life.”

In fact West Midlands and the North East – areas which have suffered more than most since the market crash – experienced the biggest increases in buyer activity in July, the survey shows.

Looking ahead, surveyors predict that prices across the country are going to continue to rise further, with a net balance of 35 per cent more of them predicting increases. Meanwhile, transaction levels are also expected to grow, as 53 per cent more surveyors expect sales to rise rather than fall over the next three months.