Tuesday, February 17

The gap between vendors and buyers is finally easing up, with more property coming to the market than last year, according to the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors’ latest survey.

Over the past few months, the market has been tense with more buyers chasing fewer properties but the situation changed in January.

RICS found 41% more surveyors reporting a rise in instructions last month compared to 9% more reporting a fall in December, indicating many more people are keen to sell in case the house price bubble bursts.

Interest rates could also be a factor, says RICS, as they are expected to rise again this year, meaning some households may need to sell for financial reasons.

RICS also noted, however, that house prices have continued to rise with the north west, recording the highest ever figures for this survey, while the south east continues to show the slowest growth.

RICS Housing Spokesman Ian Perry said: ‘The tension in the housing market is lifting. We expect the tight market conditions to relax, as rising interest rates put a dampener on the market, though a positive economic environment will prevent a marked slowdown from happening.’