Home repossessions will rise and straitened lenders may squeeze risky borrowers out of the market, but house prices will be unchanged at the end of 2008, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors predicts today. Financial Times, Independent

The forecast from the surveyors’ organisation appears to fly in the face of sharply deteriorating sentiment in the housing market, with the latest survey from RICS showing confidence in the outlook for prices at its most negative since 1998.

But RICS argues in its annual forecast that likely interest rate cuts in the first half of 2008 will provide the market with a 'stable platform', while historically low levels of unemployment – even if companies hit by the credit squeeze cut jobs – would help to prevent a large influx of supply from repossessions or forced sales.