House prices are on the up for the first time in 15 months according to the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) housing market survey. It reveals that more surveyors reported price rises than falls in November and property sales are rising.

This is a sharp contrast to October?s figures where 8% of surveyors reported price falls. Over the past year the RICS survey has been the most negative of the housing reports and the move of RICS indicator into positive ground suggests stability has returned to the most cynical corners of the market.

RICS spokesperson Ian Perry says: ?All the numbers point to renewed price rises. There is a universal expectation from agents that interest rates are heading down again in the New Year, which is providing the market with confidence.?

?The biggest increases have been seen in London where city bonuses are expected to help the market along in the coming months,? Mr. Perry explained.

RICS attribute the market improvement to relatively low interest rates and a healthy job climate. In 2006, RICS forecasts a house price rise of 4% and predicts purchase levels will firmly increase.

?The modest pick-up in house price rises for next year reflects the impact of the August interest rate cut, as well as a lift from a further expected 0.25% interest rate cut in the first half of 2006,? said Mr. Perry. ?However, if wage data due out early next year is particularly weak, the Bank of England will be dissuaded from further cuts,? he added.

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