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The number of prospective buyers in the UK housing market has increased for the third consecutive month, according to the Rics Residential Market Survey.

The survey of chartered surveyors showed 13 per cent reported an increase in new buyer enquiries rather than a fall.

However, the survey showed supply shortages are leading to only a modest growth in sales activity and there has been a further decline in the amount of homes for sale.

Surveyors expect the beginning of 2017 to be quiet reflecting the lack of fresh properties coming to market.

As stock reduces the outlook for house price growth over the year to come is positive across the UK, with a net balance of 40 per cent of respondents forecasting a rise.

There is less confidence in the prospects for London property prices relative to other areas, with larger properties in the capital expected to show the slowest price growth.

The survey show that tax changes are still weighing heavily on the London market. The government has made tax increases on property at multiple levels, effecting developers and investors alike. The 3% stamp duty hike on buy to let has been negative; many new investors are looking  to make use of companies as a route into the market. Charterhouse can provide specialist advice on this.

A key issue for the housing market is the slowdown in transaction activity since the spring, which is clearly being reflected in the Rics agreed sales data as well as in official figures.

Stock levels are around historic lows we expect any pick-up in activity to be gradual. 



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