Rics responds to Nationwide house price figures with caution

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) has responded to the news that house prices rose again in May by suggesting the market may now be stabilising.

Property values have fallen considerably over the past 12 months and the 1.2 per cent rise recorded by Nationwide has sparked embers of optimism.

However, the average price of £154,016 is still 11.3 per cent down on last years figures, meaning those considering whether to move or improve might still face a difficult choice.

"[The findings are] consistent with the recent trend in the Rics sales-to-stock ratio which has now risen for four consecutive months; historically a good lead indicator of turning points in house price inflation," said Rics chief economist Simon Rubinsohn.

He added the bodys own findings had shown many potential vendors had either decided to stay put, or rent their property out over the past two years.

Mr Rubinsohn explained this has led to a stagnant market and warned it may be too early to discuss a turnaround in the industry.