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Sunday 16th of January 2011
January 14, 2011    

NAEA: Property sales slump in December

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by Kay Murchie
NAEA: Property sales slump in December

The National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) has today revealed property transactions slumped to an 8-year low in December.

The severe wintry weather and the traditional slow Christmas period led to sales falling to their lowest level since January 2003.

According to the Association, the average estate agent branch sold four properties in December 2010. This represents the lowest in eight years when the average agent sold two properties per branch.

In November 2010 the average branch sold seven properties.

Commenting on the figures, Mike Jones, president of the NAEA, said traditionally December is a slow month for the housing market but “these figures are worse than usual.”

However, the NAEA said it hopes to see an improvement in the coming months, adding that 2011 has “begun very strongly.”

In the meantime, the number of people who registered with estate agents last month dropped to an average of 227 per branch, down from 241 the previous month.

The NAEA highlighted that buyer interest dwindles in December as many opt to wait until the New Year.

Meanwhile, the Association said the supply of properties remains high. The average estate agent had 64 properties on its books last month - the same as November.

However, this high level of instructions, combined with weak buyer demand, has put house prices under pressure.

Earlier this week, the Halifax revealed UK house prices fell by 1.3% last month compared with November.

According to the lender, which is part of the Lloyds Banking Group, house prices are now 1.6% lower than a year ago.

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