Region leads the country in falling house prices

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HOUSE sales across the region look set to continue to increase as expectations for the coming three months rose significantly, according to the latest housing market survey by the Royal Institute of Chartered Accountants (RICS).

Last month, 23 per cent more surveyors in the area predicted transactions to rise rather than fall over the next quarter. This positive outlook comes at a time when confidence has been growing that the housing market may now be over the very worst of its recent troubles.

Alongside this, prices were reported to have fallen during December. Forty-two per cent more respondents reported a fall in prices than a rise. This was one of the biggest drops across the country. Furthermore, surveyors in the region continue to have a negative view of the price outlook between now and March: thirty-six per cent more north east respondents have predicted further drops over the following three months.

RICS north east residential spokesperson, Richard Sayer of Rook Matthews Sayer said: “The last quarter of the year was better than in 2011. Sales and listings activity has increased, but there remains no pressure for price rises, however reasonably priced houses are selling steadily.”

Peter Bolton King, RICS global residential director, added: “Confidence in the north east housing market does appear to be improving, helped in part by the impact of the Funding for Leading Scheme. Indeed, our members are predicting that transaction levels will continue increasing in many parts of the region and it may be that we are now over the very worst.

“That said, more needs to be done to ensure potential buyers can access the market at every level. Alongside this, there is still a clear need for more homes to be built.”

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