Commenting, RICS chief economist Simon Rubinsohn said: “The market is already beginning to push up the cost of money to households, albeit very modestly at this stage. For the time being, this will not act as a material deterrent to prospective purchasers in the housing market. Indeed, the signs that lenders are now willing to be a little more generous in terms of loan to value ratios may be more pertinent in terms of converting buyer interest into actual property transactions.
"Also, today's Halifax data once again highlighted the importance of limited supply in contributing towards the pick-up in house prices. This continues to be very clearly visible in the RICS Housing Market Survey which shows the numbers of those looking to buy clearly outstripping the number of those looking to sell. We expect this imbalance to continue to drive prices higher in the early part of this year helped by the slightly more flexible approach from lenders in the provision of mortgage finance."