Home sellers fear further downturn

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Homeowners are flocking to sell properties before the Coalition's spending cuts are revealed next week because they fear further deterioration in the economy, according to a survey.

The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) said 22 per cent of surveyors had seen a rise in instructions last month, up from 12 per cent in August.

The demand for property remained subdued as buyers struggled to secure mortgage finance, or decided to wait and see how the market developed over the coming months, the RICS said. While the balance of inquiries by new buyers was minus 2 in September, it was a significant improvement on the minus 17 a month earlier.

House prices are still falling and 41 per cent more surveyors anticipate a further slump rather than a rise in property values. A spokesman for the RICS said: "The fresh influx of property to the market combined with a lack of buyers remains the key problem."