RICS report says housing market dropped in Jan.

A recent survey by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has reported that the housing market dropped in January, with 7% more surveyors reporting a fall in demand than those who reported a rise.

The sharp fall in the number of active housebuyers follows months of declines and will fuel fears that worries about affordability and the possibility of interest rates hikes will restrict transactions for many months to come, especially in the Midlands and the north, reports the Guardian.

Apparently the East Midlands, Yorkshire and Humberside suffered the worst house price falls.

Recent figures from the Bank of England revealed bank lending to real estate in the last quarter of 2010 fell by £16bn between Sept and Dec, which was the biggest drop in a single quarter since the series began in 1987.

RICS spokesman, Ian Perry, said: "The key indicators of market activity remained in negative territory in January, albeit a little less so than in December. Uncertainty over the prospects for employment, alongside the shortage of mortgage finance, particularly for first-time buyers, continues to weigh heavily on transactions levels. However, there is a very clear regional pattern emerging with London seeing a greater level of price resilience while in much of the north and Midlands the market remains under greater pressure."

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