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UK house prices edge up, tax changes weigh on smaller landlords: RICS

British house prices rose in July amid falls in London price balance, a U.K. residential market survey by Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors showed.

The monthly house price balance rose +4% in July from a revised +3%, following two months of "very slightly negative" results, said RICS.

Prices in Northern Ireland, Scotland and most of central and northern England rose, while prices in southern England and Wales were flat.

Properties priced at more than £1 million in London and nearby areas saw discounts of 10% or more on their asking prices. Houses selling under £500,000 were sold at or slightly above the asking price.

Recent tax changes resulted in smaller landlords leaving the rental sector. "The risk ... is that a reduced pipeline of supply will gradually feed through into higher rents," RICS chief economist Simon Rubinsohn said.

Rents are expected to rise 2% over the next 12 months and 15% over a five-year period, said RICS. Average rents rose 0.4% over the past year, according to official data.