Monthly survey paints a gloomy picture of the housing market

House prices are now falling at their fastest rate since April 2009, according to the latest figures from the RICS.

The institution said that 49% more surveyors reported price falls than rises in October, up from 36% in September, and the highest figure since April last year.

The monthly survey also found that new instructions fell for the first time since January, moving to a balance of -4% from +22% last month, indicating that sellers are starting to react to the falls in prices.

The number of sales per surveyor also fell to its lowest level since June last year.

RICS spokesperson, Jeremy Leaf said: “With both supply and demand falling transaction activity is set to remain at relatively flat levels for the foreseeable future.  Agents may be cautious about what this could mean for house prices in the short term, but dramatic falls are likely to be limited by a gradual drying up of stock coming to the market.

“It is also worth noting that a subdued housing market is not good news for an economy which requires a high degree of mobility to take advantage of job opportunities.”