Home sales reach two-and-a-half-year high

House sold

More homes were sold in the three months to February than at any other time in the past two-and-a-half years.

Chartered surveyors have been selling an average of 16.8 homes during the three months to February, figures from the latest RICS housing market survey reveal.

The month of February alone also experienced "an uplift in sales", which RICS attributes to increasing market stability.

Its members also reported being cautiously optimistic this will be a trend set to continue, with 8% of survey respondents predicting transaction levels will continue to rise over the next three months.

While surveyors reported that prices have dipped over the three months to February, RICS pointed out that they have remained relatively stable since the autumn.

Demand for property was also said to have remained steady across the country, put down to the increase in mortgage finance availability thanks to the government's Funding for Lending scheme.

The number of homes coming onto the market was stable in February, but RICS pointed out that even so, the number of properties available remain at historically low levels.

"It's encouraging to see that the housing market now appears to be picking up across most parts of the UK despite ongoing concerns about the health of the economy. This may, in part, be down to the growing availability of mortgage finance through schemes such as Funding for Lending.

"However, even with activity running at its best level since the middle of 2010, it is still well down on its pre-crisis norm," said Peter Bolton King, RICS' global residential director.