London the only region to defy house price slump throughout rest of UK

UK HOUSE prices continued to fall at the end of last year, a widely-regarded survey revealed this morning, yet prices in the capital are still bucking the trend.

London was the only region to show a positive net balance (46 per cent) of surveyors reporting rising prices. Across the country as a whole, a balance of 16 per cent more surveyors saw prices falling rather than growing.

The latest survey from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) revealed that supply to the housing market is picking up in London and elsewhere. “Twelve per cent more respondents reported rises rather than falls in new homes coming onto the market,” it said – the third straight month of rising new instructions.

The sharpest increase in supply was recorded in London, where growing instructions were noticed by a balance of 38 per cent of surveyors – the highest figure since January 2005.

“The increasing number of prospective sellers who placed their homes on the market in December is a positive development as a lack of stock has been a big issue in some parts of the country,” said RICS’s housing spokesman Ian Perry.

Meanwhile it appears that mortgages have sunk to their most affordable rates on record, according to separate data from Barclays.

People last year paid an average of 15.4 per cent of their take home pay towards monthly mortgage payments, Barclays found, down from a high of 20.5 per cent in 2008.