Confidence returns to housing market as Bury St Edmunds estate agent says ‘We have been incredibly busy’.

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The number of homes being sold in the region has hit a three year high as confidence slowly returns to the housing market.

A housing market survey found that chartered surveyors in the East of England reported an average of 18 homes sold per surveyor in the first three months of the year, the highest amount since November 2012.

The findings are echoed by Haart estate agents in Bury St Edmunds.

Senior branch manager Melanie Mills said: “We have been incredibly busy selling more than 40 houses last month.”

Haart figures showed the number of house sales it processed in East Anglia rose 26.8 per cent on last year.

At the same time, the nunber of new homes for sale across East Anglia was up 25.4 per cent on last year.

And the number of people having their homes valued was up 29.4 per cent on last year.

Gwyn Gittins, regional sales director for haart, said: “The freezing temperatures we’ve been expecting of late clearly did nothing to dampen the appetite of the house buying public in East Anglia who defied the ice and snow in their droves to put their homes on the market last month with haart.”

The survey meanwhile by the Royal Insitute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) found increasing stability in the market with fewer surveyors reporting falls in house prices.

There was a rise of nearly a third in the number of surveyors reporting increased new buyer enquiries, the highest since May.

And for the second successive month the number of new instructions to surveyors has risen – this follows seven months downward spiral.

The apparent return to confidence has seen the surveyors themselves return to optimism with 36 per cent expecting to see a sales rise over the next three months, compared to 22 per cent at the last survey.

Robert Swiney, RICS East spokesman, said: “The inclement weather had a negative effect on sales, yet the market outlook is more positive than it has been for some time. After an unpredictable six months we are now seeing greater stability in the market, no doubt affected by Government support for first time buyers.

“It is heartening that new enquiries have reached an 11 month high and with future sales expectations in positive territory, we can only hope this translates into market buoyancy.”