Housing markets in London are already showing evidence of a housing bubble emerging, which runs the risk of a significant drop in prices when the bubble bursts.
Yet there can be a significant difference between the price a property sells for and the value that a surveyor places on it. And that gap is, in certain hotspots, once again being stretched to the limit, just seven years or so after a major correction in the housing market saw prices plummet throughout the UK.
With no indication that the inbalance between buyer demand and supply will change any time soon, many surveyors will expect prices to continue to rise as summer approaches. Spiralling house prices surging ahead of market valuations raises the risk of the market over-heating, whereby some home buyers face a mortgage shortfall and a rise in the incidence of so-called ''down-valuations'', where a lender''s surveyor values a property below the agreed price.
Rising house prices does not equate necessarily to a corresponding rise in the value of the home you are seeking to sell or buy; that will be determined by condition and a range of other factors that only chartered surveyors are qualified to conclude.
Arguably the best House Price Index is the RICS market survey because, rather than a straightforward index of price growth, this includes reference to valuer sentiment in the field.
Given the return of soaring house prices in the London market, advisors must always bear in mind the need to look after their customers'' long-term interests by ensuring that they pay a reasonable price for an affordable mortgage, rather than getting sucked into the bubble of an overheated market.