The number of properties being listed for sale in the UK reached its lowest level since September 2021, according to data from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.
The monthly survey released today (January 19) showed a further weakening in the sales market at the end of 2022, with chartered surveyors reporting a further drop in new buyer enquiries.
A decrease in agreed sales was also reported, as 41 per cent of survey respondents said they had seen a decline in December - an increase on the 36 per cent who reported a drop the previous month.
Rics chief economist Simon Rubinson said the latest survey highlighted the emerging challenges as a result of higher costs and wider economic uncertainty.
The organisation expects the downward trend in housing market activity evident in the last number of surveys will continue over the coming months.
But Rubinson said: "Some signs of an easing in inflation pressures more generally could provide a chink of light, particularly for those looking to take their first step on the property ladder.
"Meanwhile feedback around the lettings market once again demonstrates the need for some concerted thinking about how to create a thriving sector that caters for both the private and ‘affordable’ renter."
According to the survey results, buy-to-let landlords entering the market also remained on a downward trend in December, with 24 per cent of respondents reporting a decline.
This was at the same time that 28 per cent of respondents reported an increase in tenant demand. However this was the lowest reading since February 2021 and according to Rics, suggests that the pace of demand growth is slowing across the rental market.
As a result of this mismatch in supply and demand, Rics forecasts rents will continue to be squeezed and respondents who anticipated an increase in rent remained unchanged from November’s figure of 42 per cent.
This month, Rics included a set of additional questions around the impact of energy efficiency ratings on buyer behaviour with 61 per cent of surveyors reporting that highly energy efficient homes were holding their value in the current market.
Meanwhile, 41 per cent of respondents said sellers were attempting to attach a price premium on homes with a higher EPC.
However, when asked if they are seeing greater interest from buyers in homes that are more energy efficient, 60 per cent of surveyors said this is not a trend they are seeing.
Earlier this week, mortgage intermediary firm Mortgage Advice Bureau said mortgage advisers could be doing more when it comes to talking to clients about energy efficiency in households.
The comments were made after a survey by the mortgage intermediary revealed that only one in 10 of the 2,000 respondents had spoken to their mortgage adviser about a property’s EPC.