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LONDON-Mild autumn weather has attracted more people to go househunting, giveing the housing market a late boost, according to the RICS’s quarterly market saurvey. The number of people looking to buy a house is frowing at its fastest rate since June 1999, and this is a strong indication that sales are likely to increase over the coming months.

A net 49% of chartered surveyors reported a rise in buyer enquiries in September, up sharply from the 18% figure recorded in August. The trend is a reflection of stability in the employment market, low interest rates, and improving confidence levels in the economy. 46% more surveyors expect sales to rise rather than fall over the next three months. Expectations have risen steadily since a dip in the first half of the year.

However, the number of properties on the market fell in September for the fourth consecutive month. The fall in the stock of unsold property and surge in buyer enquiries has helped to increase surveyors’ confidence in their outlook for price rises. 43% more surveyors expect house prices to rise over the next three months than decline, compared to 23% in August.

RICS housing spokesman, Jeremy Leaf, said: “We would expect to see market activity rise in September as people turn their attention away from summer pursuits and focus on moving house, but this year it has picked up more than usual. In general, we are seeing signs of a tilt back towards a sellers’ market.

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