House sales fall to 30 year low

| November 11, 2008 | 0 Comments
House sales fall to 30 year low

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) has reported that property sales continued to fall last month.

The decline took the number of transactions to its lowest level since records began, in 1978.

A lack of mortgage finance meant that sales per estate agency averaged 10.9 during the three months to the end of October, with completed transactions in London dipping below the national average, to six.

However, Rics members are more optimistic than before. In October 20% more surveyors said they were expecting an upturn in sales over the three months to the end of January 2009, rather than a further downturn.

The proportion compares with 4% more expecting an upturn, in September.

In London the ratio was even more impressive, with 37% more chartered surveyors predicting a rise and in the South West 47% more surveyors expect a rise, rather than a fall in sales.

According to Rics spokesman, Ian Perry, many vendors have started to accept current market conditions and are reducing their asking prices to achieve a sale.

The research shows that 84% of Rics members saw prices fall between August and October, while 14% said prices were level and only 2% reported a rise.

Mr Perry is optimistic that last week’s base rate cut will help support the market, although he acknowledges that a general lack of mortgage finance remains a major problem.

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