The RICS report that the number of properties coming on to the market is at a record low and see a risk of 'house prices falling' in the short term.
RICS Chartered surveyors are predicting a short-term drop in UK house prices over the next three months. This would be the first fall in more than six years. Members who work in estate agents reported that London and East Anglia would be most affected. Surveyors forecasting prices to drop outnumbered those saying they expecting prices to rise by a majority of 10%.
Average house prices last fell on an annual basis in the Autumn of 2009. However RICS report that they expect any the fall in prices is likely to be short-lived. They comment that the EU referendum, and the stamp duty changes in April as the timulus for a cooling down in the market. "What we are looking at is a short term drop caused by the uncertainty resulting from the forthcoming EU referendum, coupled by a slow-down following the rush to get into the market ahead of the tax change on the purchase of investment properties," commented Simon Rubinsohn, Rics chief economist.
The survey of 326 surveyors, representing 600 offices across the country, reported that prices are already falling in London. A majority expect forthcoming price reductions in a further four areas: East Anglia, South East England, South West England, Yorkshire and Humber. However prices in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, the Midlands and the North are expected to rise. The survey also suggests that the number of properties coming on to the market is at a record low. Surveyors who saw fewer new instructions last month outnumbered those who saw more instructions by 30%. That is the largest figure since the current survey began in 1999.