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Property supply increases in April, say surveyors

The supply of property increased during April as sellers returned to the market, according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

According to the survey, 18 per cent more chartered surveyors reported a rise rather than a fall in new instructions, up from 4 per cent more in March. Respondents suggested a stabilisation in property prices had tempted many back.

Demand also steadied during April, with new buyer enquiries moving to a net balance of zero per cent, taking it out of negative territory for the first time in 10 months.

The average number of sales per surveyor over the past three months rose to 15.2, the best level since December. The number of newly agreed sales also increased in April, as 8 per cent more surveyors reported increases than falls in agreed sales.

However, 21 per cent more surveyors reported price falls rather than rises in April but 11 per cent more surveyors predict sales to increase rather decrease over the next three months.

RICS housing spokesman Michael Newey says: “The return of sellers to the market is positive, but activity still remains subdued and it is difficult to see it picking up materially over the coming months.

“Although there are signs that some lenders may be reducing their grip on the purse strings, in particular with mortgages aimed at first time buyers, there is still a long way to go before lending levels increase enough to have any real impact.”

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