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Further house price falls predicted

Property professionals are predicting further house price falls following a surge in the number of homes being put up for sale, research indicates.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) said that in June, 4% more of its members expected prices to fall during the coming months than those who thought they would rise.

The pessimism, which contrasts with the previous month when surveyors were still predicting further price rises, comes as the supply of homes for sale continues to increase.

A balance of 27% more surveyors reported a rise in new instructions during June, the highest level since May 2007.

At the same time the number of potential buyers registering with chartered surveyor estate agents fell for only the second time since the latter part of 2008, as consumers fretted about the state of the economy.

The easing in the mismatch between supply and demand, which was one of the key factors supporting the housing market recovery in 2009, has already led to a fall in the proportion of surveyors reporting price rises.

A balance of just 10% of surveyors said the cost of property continued to increase during June, less than half the 22% who reported price rises in May.

The group said surveyors were still reporting house price rises in most parts of the country, but the increase in the supply of homes for sale was pushing many of the regional balances towards negative territory, with the exception of London and Scotland.

More surveyors are already reporting price falls than those who are reporting rises in Wales, Yorkshire and Humberside, the West Midlands and Northern Ireland.

RICS spokesman Jeremy Leaf said: "A shortage of stock has been one factor holding back transaction activity in the housing market, but the abolition of home information packs is helping to belatedly address this issue."


From Belfast Telegraph