Price growth in the UK housing market slowed last month, according to the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors’ residential market survey.

RICS said there was “sluggish new buyer demand” in the final month of 2014, with a tail-off in house price growth. 

Price growth fell to its slowest pace since May 2013.

The rental market, however, is seeing increased demand as the sales market slows.

Simon Rubinsohn, RICS chief economist, said: “This, coupled with a drop in supply of new stock to let, is helping to underpin the rental outlook for landlords pretty much across the whole of the country.”

However, changes to the UK’s residential stamp duty will support activity, the company said. 

Reforms will, RICS predicted, deliver a 2-5% boost in sales and prices over the next year.

Rubinsohn said the changes were expected to provide a “timely boost” to activity in the housing market.

“There remain significant challenges, particularly for first-time buyers seeking to take an initial step onto the property ladder,” he added.

RICS said London saw the weakest demand, with 45% more surveyors reporting a decline in enquiries – the eighth consecutive monthly decline.

The North of England and the South West saw strong rebounds in demand, however.

Northern Ireland and Scotland fared better, RICS added.