Sign up to BQ Breakfast to receive daily news:

Building up to a good year in property?

Wednesday 13 February 2013 6:00

North East chartered surveyors expect the rate of property sales in the North East to continue to rise over the coming months, writes Freddy Winskell.

A survey from the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) this week showed that for the fourth consecutive month housing transactions in the region have risen.

The RICS report on housing transactions conducted in January showed that 57% of surveyors believed the number of transactions to have risen.

“The number of housing transactions may have been increased due to confidence being restored to the market,” said Bellway Homes spokesperson Julian Kenyon.

The Newcastle firm completed the sales of 2,597 homes in the six-month period to 31 January –  an increase of 5.8% on the 2,455 house sales completed in the same period the previous year.

Bellway also saw an increase in the average sale price of homes which rose to £187,000 – a 2.3% increase on 2012’s £182,753.

Despite the increase in housing transactions, property value has in general decreased with 31% more North East respondents claiming that house prices fell rather than rose in January.

Surveyors expect this trend to continue over the coming three months, with more sales but a possible stall in property value.

Nick Manson, spokesperson for the Guild of Professional Estate Agents National Advisory Board cited more realistic pricing strategies from vendors as a key driver of the increasing number transactions.

“Over the last few years rental prices have increased which is now encouraging tenants to consider buying, especially as there is a wider choice of mortgages available and better loan to value ratios. Both of these factors result in an increased number of enquiries, offers and ultimately sales,” said Manson, who runs Mansons Property Consultants in Jesmond, Newcastle.

According to Peter King, RICS global residential director, meanwhile, this growth in activity looks set to continue for the rest of the year.

He said: “Prices across the UK have gradually stemmed in recent months and it is interesting to see that the amount of completed transactions is on the rise, as confidence returns to the marketplace.

“While it is still very early days to talk about a comprehensive market recovery, activity levels are still encouraging and there is some optimism out there that things could continue to improve.

“That said; in many parts of the UK- such as London and the South East- high house prices and the lofty deposits required by lenders continue to prevent many first time buyers getting a foot on the ladder, which is preventing any significant movement at the lower end of the market.”