London home sales highest for four years, says Rics

The rapid increase in UK house prices has been branded “unsustainable” by surveyors as sales of London homes hit their highest point for four years.

Over the festive period, the average number of transactions per surveyor in London, reached 16 -  over treble that of the lowest point of the downturn back in February 2009 when respondents were selling a mere six.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) said that with more sales going through, demand for rented accommodation has dropped away as more people are looking to test the property market.

However, the institute adds that house building levels are “nowhere near enough to meet the higher level of demand”.  

Jon Pishiri, RICS London residential spokesperson said: “Increasing demand and continuing low supply are major determinants in London prices remaining high, reinforcing the need to increase housing supply.  The distinct nature of London’s property market indicates that a unique approach for the capital should be adopted.”

Peter Bolton King, RICS global residential director, added: “The housing market is starting to thrive once more. Sales are at their highest level in almost six years and this is being reflected right across the UK. Growing availability of affordable mortgages has released some pent-up demand from a market that, in recent years, has seen many viable buyers unable to enter the market. On the face of it, this seems like good news but unless we see a marked increase in the number of homes coming up for sale we could well be looking at a price rises becoming unsustainable in some areas.”

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