More green shoots appear to be sprouting in the housing market with the surveyors' body RICS finding an increase in interest among potential homebuyers over the past three months.

Sensibly RICS economists are not getting over excited by this, after all interest from buyers was at basement levels and was almost obliged to rise if it was to move at all.

But RICS is punting the view that this probably represents the first signs of an increase in transactions, albeit to a much lower level than the long-term average.

Good news for estate agents if the trend continues and is not blown off course by fears over redundancies or further shock drops in house prices.

Good news for the Treasury coffers if the stamp duty starts to roll in a bit faster.

But sadly not too much good news for house builders or developers, as the interest in new build remains weak, according to this survey.

The types of potential buyers RICS reckons are getting excited about buying a new (second-hand) home are those trading up, down or across - that is to say those with money or rather equity.

There was a hint that investors may be looking to dip their toes back into the market and there was some interest from first time buyers, but not much and there were a smattering of overseas buyers browsing the details of homes, looking no doubt to capitalise on the weak pound.

According to the surveyors polled, the main factors driving higher buyer inquiries were lower prices, a view that the bottom of the market was in sight and lower mortgage rates.

Mind you, there was one rather baffling result (at least I didn't get it) that had 5% of surveyors saying people were looking to use the recession to trade down. Am I warped in thinking you get out at the top and get in at the bottom of a market? Perhaps they fear worse to come. If you can help me out of my confusion here please email me.

Considering at all the data in the round and for a man of my tastes, I want to see a flock of swallows before I am convinced we are witnessing an upturn. There remain too many downside risks for me to get over excited by more traffic through the doors of estate agents.