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13 November 2007

Surveyors see house price falls

Only in London are prices still rising, says Rics
The slowdown in the housing market is becoming more pronounced, says the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics).
Its latest survey of members in England and Wales suggests prices in October fell for the third month in a row, and at the fastest pace since July 2005.

London was the only region where prices did not fall during the month, according to the Rics survey.

Almost all other surveys have pointed to a slowdown since the summer.

"The housing market is seeing the awaited slowdown that many had been expecting, with modest falls reported across most UK regions," said Rics spokesman Ian Perry.

"Credit market turmoil has yet to put downward pressure on prices in the capital, although prices have now stabilised even here," he added.

A combination of high prices and increased interest rates have finally reined in the housing market, with the unaffordability of homes, relative to average incomes, having risen to record levels.

Enquiries from new buyers also fell, for the 11th month in a row, as other factors came into play.

"Interest rate rises, the recent credit crunch and the subsequent tightening of lending conditions have all had an impact upon demand," said Rics.

Overall, 22% more surveyors in England and Wales in October saw prices fall than rise in their locality.

Although prices are still rising slightly in Scotland they are now falling sharply in Northern .

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