CONFIDENCE is returning to the North-East housing market with a rise in the number of potential buyers in recent months.

The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyor’s housing market survey states that enquiries from would-be-purchasers have grown steadily since the end of the summer.

Demand is still at a low level, but people are looking to test the market.

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Chartered surveyors are optimistic that the North-East housing market will continue to rise over the next three months.

The amount of homes in the North-East coming up for sale remained flat in November, but 23 per cent of chartered surveyors reported falling house prices.

Richard Sayer, of Rook Matthews Sayer, RICS North East Residential spokesman, said: “There is certainly some optimism creeping back into the housing market.

“We saw activity increase during the last quarter of the year, with increased enquiries from potential buyers, which will hopefully result in sales increasing next year.

“That said, there is still a way to go until we see significant improvement in the housing market, and the barriers to home ownership are still very much a problem for the likes of first time buyers.”

Across the UK, London was the only part of the country to see prices increase.