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Supply increase sees return of buyer’s market

Some 7% more chartered surveyors reported a rise than fall in new buyer inquiries compared with the previous month up from a negative reading of 20% while a net balance of 15% of surveyors saw a rise in new instructions which compares with a negative balance of 5% in January.

Meanwhile, 17% more Chartered Surveyors reported a rise than a fall in house prices down from 31% in January. Surveyors in the regions are still reporting house price gains in most areas but the net balances are a little less positive than they were. However, surveyors in the North, Yorkshire and Humberside, Wales and the West Midlands are reporting house price falls.

The price expectations net balance also remains in positive territory but the latest reading is the lowest since July 2009. Meanwhile, the closely-watched sales to stock ratio is also beginning to edge lower which is consistent with the housing market becoming a little less tight.

The newly-agreed sales net balance fell for the second consecutive month but surveyors still expect sales to increase indicating that the recent drop in transactions is a reflection of recent adverse weather conditions.

RICS spokesperson Jeremy Leaf said: "Most market indicators are still positive and consistent with further house price increases. However the magnitude of the gains going forward is likely to continue to ease reflecting the fact that new supply coming onto the market is starting to outstrip fresh demand."

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