The housing market is finally warming up, claims a Leven estate agent - but nowhere near as hot as the national headlines would suggest.
Last week, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) claimed house prices nationally had been driven upwards by nine percent in the past year because demand was outstripping supply.
However, according to Stewart Filshill at Your Move, the local scene reflected a more conservative outlook.
He said: “National statistics don’t necessarily give a clear view of what’s happening in our local market because they’re usually heavily weighted by trends in the south east.
“By all accounts London is increasing at a rate that’s never been seen before and that will level out the figures.
“However, there’s definitely reason for optimism here and we’re definitely seeing more confidence creeping in.”
“It’s too early to say we can expect house prices to rise consistently over the next few years but there’s a definite increase in demand and enquiry levels.”
That confidence was translating to better sale prices.
While last year, properties were selling under their valuation reports, this year houses were selling at their surveyedvalue and, on occasion, more.
A relaxation in bank lending terms and Government assisted buying schemes were bringing more first-time buyers to the market, said Mr Filshill.
“We’ve also got more buy-to-let investors coming back into the market because they’ve sensed that prices have bottomed out.”
Projected rising interest rates over the next few years would curtail a growth in house prices, he warned.
“There’s more substance for a recovery in the market now. I predict a gradual growth - we don’t want another boom and bust.”