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Joy as homes sales rise

PUBLISHED: 16:39 22 April 2009 | UPDATED: 10:38 23 August 2010

RELIEVED estate agents have reported that the property market is on the up again after a long period of decline due to the recession. Estate agents in Gravesend claim they have seen a rise in sales following reports of a national upturn in the market thi

RELIEVED estate agents have reported that the property market is on the up again after a long period of decline due to the recession.

Estate agents in Gravesend claim they have seen a rise in sales following reports of a national upturn in the market this week.

A poll conducted by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) revealed the market is the healthiest it has been since February last year.

Kirsty Souter, 24, of Mann Countrywide estate agents in Windmill Street, Gravesend, said: "We sold 18 houses last month. That is more than double the usual number we have been selling so far during the recession. So, yes, it's quite a dramatic improvement.

"Of course, we have busy spells and quiet spells but on the whole we have seen a big rise in interest. We have been taking on a lot more properties and, although prices haven't been going up, they have levelled out."

She added: "Things first started to improve in the last week of February. People are just getting a lot more confident. And it's across the range - we're not just selling cheap properties. We sold a £350,000 one last week."

The RICS poll found that new buyer inquiries rose for the fifth consecutive month, leading to an increase in both newly agreed sales and sales expectations.

According to the RICS, the turn of events is down to the drop in asking prices and the sharp fall in the cost of money.

Experts predict that, as house prices fall, those who are more financially secure are now hoping to snap up good investments.

Phil Spencer, of Channel 4's hit property show Location, Location, Location, said the housing market is set for an "almighty bounce".

Speaking at the launch of the Kent Design Awards on April 9 at County Hall, Maidstone, the celebrity house-hunter said: "Things are going to get very busy.

"The longer the downturn lasts, the greater the shortage of housing is going to become. It adds weight to my belief that at the end of all of this, there is going to be an almighty bounce in terms of activity and pricing levels.

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