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UK housing market buoyed by spring bounce

The housing market enjoyed a spring bounce during April, with both property prices and sales levels rising, research has shown.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors said housing market sentiment "rebounded" during the month, helped by the better weather.

Around 17% more chartered surveyors reported house price rises than those who saw a fall during the month, up from just 9% more in March.

The balance of surveyors reporting newly agreed sales also turned positive for the first time this year at 12%, up from minus 8% during the previous month.

The average number of completed sales during the three months to the end of April also rose to 17.4 per surveyor, the first increase for three months.

But there was further evidence that the mismatch between supply and demand, a key factor behind 2009's price rises, is easing.

A balance of 11% of surveyors reporting a rise in the number of new homes being put up for sale in April, while only 8% reported an increase in inquiries from new buyers, although that was the highest level since December.

Activity levels are expected to continue increasing during the coming months, with many surveyors expecting the market to gain momentum following the General Election.

Around 25% more of surveyors expect sales to rise going forward, up from just 6% in March, and the highest level since October last year.

Around 7% also expect prices to rise, compared with a balance of 2% who were predicting further price falls in the previous month's survey.

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