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Help to Buy 'boosts UK residential sector'

New figures published by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) have showcased the positive impact the government's new Help to Buy scheme is having on the residential property sector.

According to the latest Rics Residential Market Survey, 25 per cent more chartered surveyors reported an upturn in interest among buyers up and down the country during April - up from a 13 per cent rise in March.

Furthermore, newly agreed sales were up by 19 per cent during the month, while average sales per surveyor grew to 17.1 - the highest level witnessed in the monthly report for more than the last two years.

Peter Bolton King, Rics global residential director, commented: "Thankfully, sales are expected to pick up over the coming months, albeit from historically low levels. "However, there are some understandable concerns that the measures will also lead to higher prices. In view of this, it is critical that developers are as good as their word and speed up the delivery of new stock."

He added that both Help to Buy and the Funding for Lending scheme have given a real "shot in the arm" to the industry over recent months.

Indeed, the Rics report surmised that Help to Buy is having a considerable positive impact on the market, even if the mortgage-aid aspects of the initiative are not due to come into force until later this year.

The news follows a recent announcement from the Department for Communities and Local Government, which highlighted growing numbers of local communities that are embracing new neighbourhood planning proposals.

Earlier this month, Thame in Oxfordshire and St James near Exeter became the second and third towns to vote in favour of new residential construction plans put forward by communities themselves, with hundreds of new homes to be built as a result of the decision. 

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