House prices fell for the second month in a row in August, according to the latest Housing Market Survey by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors.
The survey found that 32 per cent more chartered surveyors reported falling rather than rising house prices in August, the highest negative figure since May 2009.
This, the RICS said, was due to increased supply and a "moderation of demand". The decline in prices is happening in every region of the country, with the exception of Scotland.
The balance of newly agreed sales dropped in August from +1 to -20, the lowest figure since August 2008. Despite this the future expectations for sales improved, with 18 per cent more surveyors expecting sales to rise in the next three months, up from only eight per cent in July. This optimism appears to be driven by the hope that falling prices will encourage more buyers.
Jeremy Leaf, spokesperson for the RICS, said, "The latest set of results suggest prices in many parts of the country may be slipping but this does appear to be encouraging hopes amongst surveyors that sales levels could begin to pick up as a result. That said, there can be little doubt that the restrictive attitude to the provision of mortgage finance will continue to limit transaction activity in the market. Looking forward, our price indicators are telling a mixed story which is consistent with the uncertainty hanging over the economy, the low level of interest rates and the lack of new house building."