RICS survey says that 41% more chartered surveyors are reporting falls in house prices than rises.

The level of house sales is at its lowest level for nine years according to a survey of the UK housing market by RICS. It said that a lack of new buyers has contributed to a 25% fall in sales over the last year, their lowest level fornine years.

The survey revealed that 41% more chartered surveyors reported house falls than rises, which is the highest number reporting a fall in nine years.

RICS housing spokesperson Jeremy Leaf said: “Buyers are still nervous which is not surprising given the quick fire interest rate rises over the summer. This is clearly reflected in the current strength of the lettings market. Sellers are accepting valuers’ estimates more readily, and negotiations before a sale is agreed are harder.”

Falls in house prices are sharpest in London according to the survey while Wales and Northern England had moderate falls. In Scotland the survey reported that prices were still rising albeit more slowly.

Although house prices have fallen across the country RICS said that the pace of decline was slowing reflecting a cautious optimism that interest rates had peaked.

Leaf said: “Despite the gloom, the professionals on the ground believe that confidence will not deteriorate further over coming months as the underlying factors, jobs and the wider economy remain stable.”