A new report has shown that the number of house sales in Wales increased for the first time in almost two years last month. 

The Residential Market Survey, from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), showed that Wales’ housing market activity rose in December. 

The survey showed that a net balance of 18 per cent of Welsh estate agents who are members of RICS reported a rise in agreed sales in December, the first positive figure for this since February 2022. 

The net balance represents the percentage of chartered surveyors reporting a rise minus the percentage reporting a fall. 

The outlook for sales is also remaining positive, with a net balance of nine per cent of respondents predicting a rise in sales in the first quarter of 2024, the second consecutive month in which this figure has risen. 

There was also an increase in new instructions to sell in December, with a net balance of 19 per cent reporting a rise. 

However, a net balance of nearly a quarter (23 per cent) of respondents reported a fall in house prices over the past three months, although this is a smaller majority than in the previous month (34 per cent). 

Tim Goodwin, Associate RICS of Williams & Goodwin The Property People in Gwynedd said: “Whilst December brought about the expected seasonal lull, activity was noticeably stronger than in previous years which might be an indication that with the expectation of lower interest rates in the year ahead, confidence is returning to the market for reasonably priced properties.”

Anthony Filice, FRICS of Kelvin Francis Ltd in Cardiff commented: “We have a good number of new instructions listed. 

“Some vendors’ price expectations are still too high, as they are behind the curve on market conditions. But there are still confident and able buyers, ready to purchase at the right price.”