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Supply shortages 'continue to affect housing market'

The UK's housing shortage shows no sign of abating as weak supply and high demand continue to affect the market.This is according to the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, which has published its latest Residential Market Survey. It reveals that the average number of homes sold per chartered surveyor (23) has reached its highest level since February 2008. However, supply has fallen for the fourth consecutive month.In April, 26 per cent more chartered surveyors reported increased agreed sales, RICS stated.New lending regulations were introduced at the end of last month as part of the Mortgage Market Review and surveyors reported that the average 'perceived' Loan to Value ratios among first time buyers climbed to 86 per cent.Potential new buyer demand continued to be solid with 20 per cent more chartered surveyors reporting an increase in new enquiries.RICS reports an expansion of the recovery beyond the capital, with optimism that this trend will be sustained.In London, 49 per cent more respondents predict prices over the next three months will rise, rather than fall - down from 61 per cent  in March. Optimism is higher in the north-west, with 62 per cent expecting price increases. In East Anglia the figure is 57 per cent.In the rental sector, RICS reports modest growth in tenant demand, with greater mortgage availability and Help to Buy suppressing the desire for such properties.Despite this, the shortage of property remains an issue, with new landlord instructions broadly flat and rent prices over the next 12 months forecast to rise by around two per cent. RICS chief economist Simon Rubinsohn said: "The critical issue for the market remains the lack of second hand supply with our numbers suggesting that the picture is, if anything, getting worse."It is too early to conclude whether this will undermine the positive trend in transactions volumes, but clearly the absence of properties to buy will ultimately be a factor in influencing the ability of people to move home." 

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