House prices rises in the UK may be held back by the fact that there are more properties coming onto the market, according to surveyors.
The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) says new instructions were higher than enquiries to buy in both February and January. House price rises over the past year have been attributed to a shortage of stock for sale by some commentators.
“There was a resumption of interest in the housing market following the fall that took place in January, which was due partly to the extreme weather conditions during that month and the reversion back to the previous stamp duty regime,” said Rics spokesman Jeremy Leaf.
“The magnitude of the gains going forward is likely to continue to ease, reflecting the fact that new supply coming on to the market is starting to outstrip fresh demand.”
Rics said it was the first time in two years that new sale instructions had outstripped inquiries from would-be buyers in a sustained manner.
In the course of 2009 prices rose by 5%, according to the major mortgage lenders, the Halifax and the Nationwide. A dip in February is thought to be caused by the recent very cold weather and on a rush by buyers to push their purchases through before the restoration of the old stamp duty threshold in December.
“Activity is expected to rise over the coming months after the recent lull with surveyors also anticipating that prices will continue to edge upwards,” said Leaf.