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Thursday, 18 April, 2002, 03:46 GMT 04:46 UK
Property shortage fuels price boom
Houses graphic
Interest rate changes may affect demand
There is no end in sight for house price increases as property shortages continue to fuel the boom, according to a new report by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

The report says the number of homes for sale is at its lowest level for two years, forcing prices up even further.

House prices in the three months to March continued to surge in all parts of the UK.


The housing market is busy right across the country with no end in sight to rising prices

Ian Perry
RICS
However, the pace of growth slowed in London and the South East as a result of higher overall prices and concerns over possible interest rate rises, it added.

Yorkshire and Humberside set the pace of price increases, reporting their fastest growth for eight years.

Strong price rises were also seen across the rest of England and Wales, with 57% more surveyors reporting increases than those who reported falls, compared to 49% the previous month.

RICS national housing spokesman Ian Perry said: "The housing market is busy right across the country with no end in sight to rising prices, despite many predictions that the bubble is about to burst.

'Affordability'

"Price rises are definitely being supported by the shortage of suitable properties for sale in all parts of the country, even though traditionally this is the busiest time of the year.

"In London and the South East high prices are beginning to have an impact as affordability becomes an issue. This may be reflected in other regions in the coming months."

RICS said price rises looked set to continue in the coming months, with 71% more surveyors expecting them to go up than those who were predicting falls.

But sales are expected to increase at a slower pace.

The group added that fears over interest rate increases had dampened the growth in buyer inquiries, particularly in southern England.

See also:

04 Apr 02 | Business
House prices still booming
04 Apr 02 | Business
Rate rise fears as Bank meets
03 Apr 02 | Business
UK house prices surge
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