House prices face upward pressure as ‘for sale’ listings dwindle

House price growth is accelerating as sellers pull back from the market despite demand remaining buoyant, according to a new report.

A monthly survey by the Royal Institution for Chartered Surveyors (RICS) said a net balance of 75% of property professionals saw prices increasing rather than decreasing.

The measure is at its highest level since 1988 and has now gone up for three successive months.

It comes as separate house price indices show the market has been buoyed by Rishi Sunak’s extension of a stamp duty holiday announced last year.

The latest report for RICS, covering April, showed a measure of buyer demand, at 44%, continuing to pick up at similar levels to March.

But the level of fresh property listings was "not nearly enough to match the interest shown by potential buyers", the survey said.

The balance of new sales instructions fell significantly from +21% in March to -4% in April.

RICS chief economist Simon Rubinsohn said: "Housing supply, or more pertinently, the shortfall in supply relative to demand is the key theme coming through loud and clear.

"While it may be simplistic to assume that higher numbers alone can redress the affordability issue, particularly in a low
interest rate environment, an uplift in delivery does have a role to play."

The government earlier this week set out its latest ambitions to create a simpler and faster planning system to speed up the construction of new homes.

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