Rise in fresh enquiries and lack of new supply means prices have begun to stabilise

An increase in the number of new enquiries from homebuyers combined with a lack of new housing supply has stabilised house prices, according to a survey by the RICS.

The number of surveyors reporting a rise in new enquiries rose for the seventh consecutive month, according to the RICS housing market survey, and 40% of surveyors now expect sales levels to increase, the highest percentage in the survey's 11-year history.

The lack of new homes to sell has contributed to the steadying of prices

New instructions remain at a low level, meaning that the number of properties on surveyors' books has fallen from an average of 69.4 to 58.4 in the past month.

As a result, the uptake in demand combined with a narrowing of supply has acted to shore up house prices, says the survey.

Ian Perry, a spokesperson for the RICS, said: “On the face of it, the housing market does appear to be close to bottoming out with activity picking up in a material way and prices at last stabilising. However, it is important to remember that the lack of supply has been as important in underpinning prices as the rise in demand.”