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Thursday 28th of May 2009
October 14, 2008

Estate agents sell less than one house per week


by Gill Montia
Estate agents sell less than one house per week

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) has published the findings of its latest survey, showing that house sales have fallen to their lowest level since records began in 1978.

In the three months to the end of September, estate agents sold an average of 11.5 properties, taking the average weekly level of transactions down to 0.88.

The figure compares with a weekly average of 5.25 sales per week over the same period of 2007.

On a regional basis, London has seen the worst decline, with an average 8.3 properties sold per estate agent over the three month period, or 0.63 properties a week.

In the South East generally estate agents sold an average of 10 properties in the three months prior to October.

According to Rics, a trend for homeowners to let properties rather than sell well below the asking price, has been particularly evident in the capital.

Rics spokesman, Jeremy Leaf, is hoping that Government plans to recapitalise some of the UK’s High Street banks will see an end to the dearth of mortgage lending that has damaged the housing market.

Mr Leaf points out that as things stand, only those with significant finances are in a position to access the market.

However, the survey also found that the proportion of surveyors reporting a rise in enquiries from potential house buyers has improved.

In September, the balance between Rics members reporting a fall compared with a rise in enquiries stood at 17%. A month earlier, the balance stood at 27%.

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