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UK property market sees first sustained shift for two years as supply outstrips demand, report shows

The balance between supply and demand shifted toward the supply side as the new instructions net balance outpaced buyer interest for the second consecutive month, says the latest UK Housing Market survey from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.
New instruction and new buyer enquiries rebounded in February following a weather skewed dip in January with both net balances turning positive. For the second consecutive month the new instructions net balance outpaced the new buyer enquiries net balance, the report says.
Some 7% more chartered surveyors reported a rise than fall in new buyer enquiries 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.
Also 17% more chartered surveyors reported a rise than a fall in house prices, down from 31% in January and surveyors in the regions are still reporting house price gains in most areas although the net balances are a little less positive than they were.
The report also reveals that surveyors in the North, Yorkshire and Humberside, Wales and the West Midlands are reporting property price falls.
However, 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 property 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.
‘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,’ said RICS spokesman Jeremy Leaf