Home sales in Britain increased last month while prices continued to fall, but at a much slower rate than before, according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. The group cautioned against reading too much into this. "On the face of it, the housing market does appear to be close to bottoming out ... However, with the economic backdrop still quite uncertain, unemployment set to continue increasing sharply and finance for first-time buyers still in short supply, there are a number of significant obstacles for the market to overcome over the coming months," said Ian Perry, the institution's spokesman

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