With overall agreed sales 6% higher, and net actual sales 11% higher this month than this time last year, Hamptons is optimistic for the house price market in coming months. In addition, it says, viewings and new buyers have increased.

On average in the UK, 13% more buyers are registering with Hamptons than in this period of 2004, and in London this figure reaches 48%, the report claims. Agreed sales in London are also up 38%, with demand outstripping supply: ?The number of applicants [in Chelsea] has continued to rise,? says Dominic Pasqua from the Chelsea office. ?We have 25% more applicants registered in September compared with the same period last year.?

Although the picture in the rest of the UK is not as rosy, Hamptons has suggested that what happens in London ultimately filters out to the rest of the country, indicating that other nearby counties may soon follow suit: ?Sales levels across the Hamptons network are up again ? this month by 6%,? says the report for September.

?As we have seen before, changes in trend often start in London and radiate out: London agreed sales are up 38%.?

?More sellers accept that sensible pricing is important, but we anticipate that owners looking to move on will face the best autumn market in three years,? said Hamptons International Residential Agency CEO Mark Anderson.