House sales are almost 40 per cent lower than five years ago at the peak of the boom, says the latest housing market survey from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.
During May, the average number of completed sales per surveyor was 15.6. This represents almost a 40 per cent drop from May 2007’s figure of 25.4 and goes some way to illustrating the extent to which market activity has fallen in recent years.
Rics says with transactions down and affordable mortgage finance now harder to come by, homes are taking considerably longer to sell.
Indeed, during the three months to May, surveyors sold 23.1 per cent of the homes on their books, a significant fall from the same period in 2007 – 40.9 per cent.
Looking ahead, chartered surveyors expect transaction levels to see a slight upturn over the coming three months, with a net balance of 9 per cent more respondents predicting rises, while expectations for future prices remain squarely in negative territory.
Rics housing spokesman Peter Bolton King says: “It is 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.”