(Bloomberg) -- House prices are rising strongly across the U.K., underpinned by an acute shortage of homes for sale, according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

In a survey published Thursday, RICS said new listings are either falling or stagnant in every region. Meanwhile, demand increased again last month, despite the loss of a tax break on purchases on Oct. 1 and the prospect of further interest-rate increases. 

The report makes frustrating reading for tens of thousands of house hunters, who are already facing record-high property prices and an intensifying cost of living crisis. Inflation is at a 30-year high, and energy prices and taxes are set to rise sharply in April. 

Property-price increases are forecast to be most pronounced in Scotland and South West England, reflecting a continuing “race for space” among people who are now working from home permanently.

The imbalance between supply and demand was also mirrored in the lettings market, where rents are expected to pick up “firmly” over the next year.

Real-estate agents expect the supply squeeze to ease a little in coming months but not by enough to stop property values and rents rising throughout 2022.

“The longer-term metrics capturing five-year expectations suggests the industry for now continues to anticipate prices and rents outpacing wage growth beyond the end of this year in the absence of a major uplift in new supply,” said Simon Rubinsohn, chief economist at RICS.


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