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rtnews_housepricesThe Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics ) forecast suggest that property sales may have bottomed out and could rise by 10% during 2009, although there monthly surveys found that enquiries from potential new buyers have been picking up in the past few months.

Simon Rubinsohn the body's chief economist says "Lenders are likely to remain cautious in the near term in the absence of any guarantees on mortgage backed securities", also warning of numbers getting worse before getting better.

As well as a 10% price drop, and 10% increase in sales, Rics formal forecast predicts a further decline in house building, with the surveyor suggesting that new housing starts will plunge from their already low level of 110,000 last year to under 80,000 in 2009.

The Royal Institution of Charted Surveyors is also expecting another official interest rate cut from 2% to just 1% in the first quarter of 2009.

Peter Bolton, chief executive of the National Association of Estate Agents forecast that following cuts in interest rates in some markets the bounce back could be as pronounced as the fall.