Sentiment in the housing market took a fall in December says the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), as 49.1% of Chartered Surveyors reported a fall in house prices than a rise.

One the demand side, the report found that new buyers enquiries and newly agreed sales continued to fall as well, although the pace of decline in both these has eased.

The property market is definitely continuing to change into 2008, creating looser conditions than there have been for years, adds the report. A small national rise in properties on the market has also made a big difference regionally: ‘In particular new instructions increased very sharply in the north and to a lesser extent in London,’ says the survey.

‘Elsewhere in England and Wales the pick up in new instructions that was recorded in three other regions – the South East, the South West and Wales – was moderate. New instructions fell in East Anglia, the North West, the East Midlands and the West Midlands.’

Surveyors also reported that prices fell faster in December than they had done the previous month everywhere except for Scotland, the East Midlands and the North West, with the heaviest price falls in the West Midlands and East Anglia.