LONDON British house prices are rising at their fastest pace in more than three years, helped by initiatives to reduce borrowing costs, a survey indicated on Tuesday.
The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors' seasonally adjusted house price balance jumped to +21 in June from +5 in May. That was the best reading since January 2010 and the biggest improvement in a single month since 2009.
The balance turned positive in April having been in negative territory for most of the past three years.
"After what has seemed like a very long wait we are finally starting to see what looks like the beginning of a recovery in the housing market," said Peter Bolton King, RICS global residential director.
The survey chimes with data from mortgage lenders Halifax and Nationwide in suggesting the government's Funding for Lending and Help to Buy schemes are breathing new life into the market.
The Funding for Lending scheme, run jointly with the Bank of England, provides banks and building societies with cheap finance if they lend to households and businesses, while the Help to Buy scheme offers government guarantees to help riskier borrowers onto the housing ladder.
Reflecting the more positive mood, a net balance of 45 percent of surveyors expect home sales to rise over the coming three months, up from 36 percent in May and the highest reading since the survey began more than a decade ago.
In another sign that market confidence is returning, new buyer enquiries rose for a sixth consecutive month and at a pace not seen since August 2009.
Our top photos from the past week.