A majority of estate agents are reporting that house prices rose over the summer months, the RICS says today, the first time in two years that optimism has outweighed pessimism on this survey.

In August, almost a quarter of agents reported that house prices in their area had risen over the previous three months, compared with 14% saying prices had fallen. The net balance of 10.7% was the highest reading since May 2007.

The RICS survey, which is closely watched as it gives an early indication of trends in the housing market, provides further evidence that activity and confidence in the housing market is recovering.

Agents also reported increased sales, with the indicator rising from its deep trough of the winter towards the levels of last spring. Average sales per surveyor rose 10% in August to stand at 17, far in excess of the turn of the year but still a third lower than at the start of 2008.

Financial Times, The Times