UK House Prices Hold As Sellers Return

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The first signs that  people are returning to the market is indicated by a survey from The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors

The lack of housing inventory has meant steady house price increases over the last 6 months with many pundits predicting house price falls when sellers return to the market.

The survey from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors also shows that vendors are returning a net balance of 15% of surveyors reported that new instructions had increased in October, compared to a 5% in September.

The sales-to-stock ratio – a measure of market slack and a lead indicator of future prices – edged up in October for the eighth consecutive month. But the stock of unsold property on surveyors’ books was virtually unchanged at 64 for the third consecutive month, indicating that a shortage of supply was still limiting activity in the housing market.

RICS spokesman Jeremy Leaf said: “Although the supply of property is beginning to pick-up, it is still insufficient to keep pace with the increase in demand which points to further prices gains in the near term.”

Surveyors expect house prices to rising over the next three months, with 31 per cent expecting an increase, compared to 25 per cent in September. In England, Wales and Scotland, the expectation is for prices to keep rising with new buyer enquiries still positive

Significantly, all regions reported a rise in instructions for the first time since the onset of the credit crunch with the North, the South West and London leading the way, the report says.
The RICS housing market survey is the longest running monthly survey of house prices in the UK, collecting data since January 1978.

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