House prices fell in October, more houses sold - RICS

LONDON Tue Nov 8, 2011 12:54am GMT

A row of terraced houses are seen below an apartment block in London August 30, 2011. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor

A row of terraced houses are seen below an apartment block in London August 30, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Luke MacGregor

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LONDON (Reuters) - The number of houses sold in England and Wales reached an 18 month high in October as prices kept falling, a survey showed on Tuesday.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors' seasonally adjusted house price balance declined to -24 percent from -23 percent in September, below analysts' expectations of -23.

More of the chartered surveyors polled saw an increase in the number of houses sold, taking the net balance on agreed sales to +8, up from September's -3 and the best reading since April 2010.

This could reflect growing realism among sellers, the survey showed, as they now appear to be more willing to take offers in order to secure a sale.

"With the chaotic events in the euro area threatening to spill over to the UK and banks still imposing tough conditions on loans to first time buyers, any recovery in sales is still likely to be relatively modest," said RICS housing spokesperson Ian Perry.

London remains the only region where house prices are increasing, and is the only area where expectations for prices are positive.

Overall, enquiries from new buyers increased to 7 percent from 4 percent last month, while completed sales increased to a six-month high.(Reporting By Naomi O'Leary; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

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