Fall in property prices - study

House prices dropped in July for the first time in a year, as the number of new properties on the market outstripped demand from cautious buyers, a study has shown.

According to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics), about 8% more of its members reported a drop in house prices than an increase during the month.

It is the first time that the survey showed a fall in prices since July last year, with the property professionals predicting further decline.

Rics said that the demand from buyers fell just when the number of new properties for sale was increasing, leading to a drop in prices.

Also, 28% more surveyors predicted a fall in prices over the coming months, up from 6% in June.

But the report suggests the market will remain buoyant as 8% more surveyors said they expected the number of sales to rise rather than fall.

Rics spokesman Ian Perry said the drop in prices was "a reflection of both the increase in supply following the scrapping of Home Information Packs (Hips) and the more cautious stance from buyers".

The Rics figures contrast with an upbeat report from the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA), which found the market enjoyed its strongest month of the year so far in July.

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