A further drop in the number of people putting their homes up for sale is pushing house prices higher, according to surveyors.

A report from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) says new instructions by sellers have fallen “deeper into negative territory”. Meanwhile the number of inquiries from would-be buyers remains unchanged. As a result, most of the 308 Rics members who took part in the survey said house prices were now rising.

The monthly survey showed that the number of homes being put up for sale had fallen for the eighth time in the past nine months, and indicated that new instructions were falling at their fastest rate since May 2009.

Simon Rubinsohn, Rics chief economist, said: “It is conceivable that the decisive outcome to the election could encourage a pick-up in instructions to agents and ease some of the recent upward pressure on house prices, but it is doubtful that this will be substantive enough to provide anything more than temporary relief.

“Alongside an increased flow of second hand stock, it is absolutely critical that the new government focuses on measures to boost the flow of new build.”

Source: BBC News (published 14 May)