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April 13, 2010    

House sellers flock to market

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by Gill Montia

House sellers returned to the market last month in numbers not seen since May 2007, just before the roll-out of Home Information Packs began.

According to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors’ (RICS) latest survey, the rate of house price rises slowed in March as new instructions outpaced new enquiries for the third consecutive month.

The RICS blames political uncertainty for “pushing vendors to market their property before the impending General Election”, just as new buyer enquiries are stabilising.

The body also found that 9% more chartered surveyors reported a rise, rather than a fall, in house prices - down from 18% more reporting a rise in February.

However, there were significant variations in regional price trends with London, the South East and Scotland the performing markets.

In East Anglia, Yorkshire and Humberside, the North and the West Midlands, more respondents reported that prices were falling, rather than rising.

Surveyors expect prices to more or less stabilise over the coming months, despite the average stock of property on surveyors’ books increasing to 67.

The 6% rise is the largest monthly increase since February 2008.

RICS spokesperson, Ian Perry, comments: “For the time being, many of the key housing market indicators are still positive or stable.”

He adds: “However, with stocks increasing and sales decreasing we may see some modest price falls in some regions.”

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