UK housing market
UK house prices increased by 10.5% on average in the year to May 2014, said the ONSReuters

Activity in the UK's rampant housing market looks set to slow as spiralling property prices tempt more sellers in, but push more would-be buyers out.

Office for National Statistics (ONS) data shows the average UK house price rising by 10.5% over the year in May 2014 to £262,000. This is off the back of cheap mortgages, a recovering economy and a taut supply of homes.

Halifax said in its monthly Housing Market Confidence Tracker that there was a balance of +25 for people thinking it was a good time to sell when asked in the second quarter of 2014, up sharply from +12 in the same period a year before.

But the balance for those thinking it was a good time to buy came in at +5, a plunge from +35 in the previous year.

"Over the past two years consumer confidence has continued to grow, however it appears that we've reached a tipping point with the equilibrium between buyers and sellers much more out of sync," said Craig McKinlay, mortgages director at Halifax.

"The results highlight the regional variations as now people believe that it's a good time for to sell but not buy, particularly in London and the south east where house price expectations are generally higher and buyers appear to be less inclined to rush into a buying a property as we have seen over the past 12 months."

In a bid to dampen the risks of rapid house price growth, finance regulators have moved to curb the mortgage market, something that may also have dragged down buyer sentiment.

Higher house prices mean larger mortgage debt. Policymakers are concerned that when the Bank of England raises interest rates, the higher debt repayment costs will hurt the economic recovery by clipping consumer spending and possibly even pushing some mortgage borrowers to default.

At the end of April, the Financial Conduct Authority imposed tougher affordability tests on the mortgage market. This means lenders must be more vigilant about those they approve loans for and make sure borrowers are able to repay the debt in a number of different scenarios, such as higher rates.

And the Bank of England said from October 2014 it would only allow financial firms to comprise 15% of their net new mortgage lender of loans worth 4.5 times or more the applicant's income, in order to limit the threat of high loans-to-income turning sour.