House sales fall almost forty per cent in five years

The latest RICS Housing Market Survey shows that house sales per surveyor across the UK are almost forty per cent lower than at the peak of the boom five years ago.  During May, the average number of completed sales per surveyor was 15.6, compared to 25.4 in May 2007.  This shows the extent to which housing market activity has fallen in the last five years.  
Homes are taking longer to sell as transactions are down and affordable mortgage finance becomes harder to find.  During the three months to May, surveyors sold 23.1% of the houses on their books.  This is a huge drop from the same period in 2007, when the figure was 40.9%.
Chartered surveyors expect transaction levels to increase slightly over the next three months, with 9% more respondents predicting rises than falls.  However, expectations for price levels continue to see falls.  Prices fell in May, with 16% more respondents reporting falls rather than rises.  Price falls have now been reported since June 2010.
London is again the only area in the country where price rises are recorded.
Peter Bolton King, RICS housing spokesman commented:
“It’s no surprise to see such a sizable drop in transactions since the market peak back in 2007. Ongoing economic instability in the UK and overseas has continued to undermine consumer confidence, and the reluctance of many banks to offer affordable mortgage products has created something of a stagnant market.
“In spite of this, a gradual stability is returning to the market and surveyors expect transaction levels to increase over the coming months, even if prices continue to dip across most parts of the country.”
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