The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) reported a rise in the number of houses being put up for sale for the first time since May 2007, as more homeowners are tempted to try the market while demand increases and prices start to stabilize. While the figures are encouraging the margin of surveyors who point towards more property coming to market rather than less was only 2%, so the market remains fragile. Feedback from RICS members also supported recent house price indices from Nationwide and Halifax, as the number of surveyors reporting falling prices over the number reporting rising prices narrowed to its smallest margin since August 2007. This seems slightly at odds with a recent press release from the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) which claims surveyors are down valuing property by as much as 10% for fear of being sued. NAEA Chief executive Peter Bolton King said "They are perhaps worried about their professional indemnity insurance - they are thinking back to the 90s when surveyors were being sued by lenders for allegedly not getting the valuations right. We all know that valuation is not an exact science and you can understand under current market conditions people erring on the side of caution. RICS denied the claim, saying the housing market was constantly changing and had lots of "imperfections".
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