Seller activity climbs to three-year high

Surveyors are continuing to see a rise in the number of properties coming to the market, pushing the level of seller activity to its highest since May 2007.

Research from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors show that the net balance of new instructions has outpaced the net balance of new buyer enquiries for the third month in a row.

A net balance of 21% of surveyors saw a rise in new instructions in March compared to 16% in February.

The net balance of new buyer enquiries went from 7% to zero.

Surveyors believe that political uncertainty is pushing vendors to market their property before the upcoming general election on May 6.

Some 9% more chartered surveyors reported a rise rather than a fall in house prices down from 18% in February.

Surveyors in London, the South East and Scotland are reporting a rise in house prices, while surveyors in East Anglia, Yorkshire and Humberside, the North and the West Midlands are seeing house price falls.

Activity is expected to rise over the coming months, but at a more subdued pace than was expected in February.

The average stock of property on surveyors’ books increased 6% in March to 67 properties per surveyor, the largest monthly increase since February 2008.

But the average number of completed sales fell by 2.8% to 17.1 per surveyor.

A spokesman for RICS says” “With the general election approaching and uncertainty growing over the political direction of the country, many vendors who were previously inclined to sit on the sidelines now appear eager to put their properties on the market.

“For the time being, many of the key housing market indicators are still positive or stable, but with stocks increasing and sales decreasing we may see some modest price falls in some regions.”