U.K. Housing Gathers Pace

A U.K. house-price gauge rose to the highest in almost seven years in August as the economic recovery gathered pace and government measures boosted demand, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors said.

The index increased to 40 from a revised 37 in July, the highest since November 2006, London-based RICS said in a report today, citing a poll of property surveyors. A proxy measure of demand rose to a record, while the outlook for prices advanced to the highest since 2002.

Recent reports suggest the property market is gaining strength as credit-easing initiatives from the government and the Bank of England boost mortgage availability. Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne defended his housing policy yesterday amid criticism he may be fueling a new bubble, saying it’s “sensible” and needed to help the market.


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