London housing market prone to a "bubble-risk", UBS cautions
House prices in London saw their most widespread fall since 2009 in March Reuters

The number of sales and new buyer enquiries in the UK housing market experienced little change in March, according to a fresh survey.

However, the supply of new homes coming to the market continued to fall during the month, propping up house prices, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) said.

On average, estate agents only held 43 unsold properties on their books at the end of March, the lowest figure recorded since the series began in 1994.

Some 22% more chartered surveyors reported higher house prices in March, unchanged from the previous month.

Prices in London fell sharply, however, with 49% more respondents reporting a fall rather than a rise — the most widespread decline recorded in the capital since 2009.

"High-end sale properties in central London remain under pressure, while the wider residential market continues to be underpinned by a lack of stock," Rics chief economist Simon Rubinsohn said in a statement.

"This includes rents, which away from the capital are generally moving higher as demand outstrips supply.

"For the time being it is hard to see any major impetus for change in the market, something also being reflected in the flat trend in transaction levels."

Some 3% more surveyors reported a fall in home sales in March, but firm sales growth was recorded in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Surveyors' sales expectations over the coming 12-month period worsened, with a net balance of 24% of respondents predicting a rise in transactions, down from 37% in February.

Data released earlier this week by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed that UK house prices rose by 5.8% year-on-year in February, compared to a 5.3% increase in January.

However, this was below the average annual house price growth of 7.3% recorded in 2016.

Two other recent gauges of the UK housing market, from Halifax and Nationwide, have suggested that house price growth is moderating.