House sales hit six-year high

In the first three months surveyors sold on average 22.7 homes, the highest recorded since February 2008, as newly agreed sales outside London and the South East rose significantly for the second consecutive month.

Simon Rubinsohn, RICS chief economist, said: “Now that the housing market recovery is well and truly underway and mortgage finance is more readily available, buyers seem to be looking to test the market right across the country, not just in the usual hot spots of the South East.”

Surveyors also reported an increase in house prices, with 57% seeing a rise rather than a fall.

Rubinsohn added: “It is a major concern that we are not seeing enough houses coming onto the market.

“For the market to operate effectively, we desperately need more homes in areas where people want to buy and want to live.

“Until this happens we’re likely to see prices to continue to increase and it is going to be ever harder for many first-time buyers to conceive of ever owning their own home.”

With the imbalance between supply and demand for houses, surveyors expected prices to increase further into the summer months.