House price rises slow in December

| January 12, 2010 | 0 Comments

UK house prices rose at a slower pace in December, as the gap between supply and demand narrowed.

A new survey from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) reveals that 30% more Chartered Surveyors reported a rise, rather than a fall, compared with 35% reporting a rise in November.

However, a significant majority of surveyors were still recording price increases in London, the South East, the South West and East Anglia.

Meanwhile, in the North and the West Midlands, respondents were reporting price falls, indicating that market recovery is less “entrenched” in some regions than in others.

Turning to supply, 17% more Chartered Surveyors reported a rise in new instructions than a fall, with the proportion increasing for the seventh consecutive month.

New demand continued to outstrip new supply, although the gap narrowed, and according to the RICS, other demand indicators also lost momentum: the newly agreed sales balance slipped from 24 to 22 while the sales expectations net balance plummeted from 20 to six.

Finally, the number of sales per surveying firm remained flat last month, at around 19.

RICS spokesman, Jeremy Leaf, comments: “New enquiries are continuing to outpace new instructions which is helping to push house prices higher”.

He adds: “It is likely that the New Year will see more interest and activity in the market as those who held back start to market their property with renewed optimism.”

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