RTTNews - Supported by increased buyer interest, the house price balance in the U.K. reached the highest level since 2007, reflecting a pick up in the housing market, a survey showed Tuesday.

According to the latest monthly survey of Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, 44.1% of surveyors reported a fall in house prices than a rise in May. Though the index stayed in negative territory, this was the best result since November 2007. Economists were expecting a negative balance of minus 52 percentage points. The net balance improved in most parts of the nation.

New buyer enquiries rose for the seventh consecutive month, with the net balance pointing an increase rather than a decrease in buyer interest. More buyer enquiries are resulting in increased transactions. Newly agreed sales continued to stay in positive side and revealed a further increase in the average number of sales per surveyors.

At the same time, new instructions to dispose property also dropped further in May. This has declined in every single month over the past two years. The RICS assessed that alteration in Home Information Packs rules that were implemented at the beginning of April would have contributed to the situation.

The survey found that the average number of unsold properties also revealed an easing trend. The latest reading of 58.4 is the lowest since May 2004 and represents a reduction of 35% from the previous year.

Higher sales together with lower inventories pushed up the sales to stock ratio for the fifth month in a row. The series that captures market slack effectively has now risen to 20.1%, its best level since April 2008.

The index measuring confidence in both the sales and price outlook rose again in May. The net balance of surveyors expecting sales to increase rose to 40 from 35. Though, the price expectations series remained in negative territory, it stood at minus 11 compared with minus 42 in April.

Other housing market surveys for May also showed improvement in the British housing market. The Halifax survey revealed a 2.6% month-on-month rise in house prices in May, after recording declines ranging between 1.8% and 2.3% in the previous three months. While, the Nationwide said house prices climbed 1.2%, taking cost of a typical house to GBP 154,016 in May.

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