A new report from the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors has found buyer enquiries on the increase for three months in a row, the first time this has happened since the back end of 2006. Reasons for this new spate of enquiries included many surveyors reporting buyers feeling the bottom of the market is in sight and others saying that property is a better investment than cash in the bank.

RICS also says it expects that this improvement in activity is likely to be sustained in the coming months, although it warns that this certainly doesn’t mean a move immediately back to what it terms a ‘more orderly’ housing market.

The availability of mortgage finance remains a key issue, while the worsening employment picture could still eat away at improved sentiment amongst potential buyers.

The most popular properties attracting interest from buyers are existing houses, surveyors reported, while existing flats, and new build houses were less in demand, while new build flats were highlighted as desirable by just 5% of the surveyors questioned.

Most of the interest is still coming from owner-occupiers with first-time buyers still sidelined by a lack of available finance, the report adds.

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