Estate agents sell just 1 home a week as property market struggles
Last updated at 8:12 AM on 14th June 2011
Estate agents are selling an average of only one property a week as the housing slump worsens, a report says today.
The number of homes coming on to the market has surged but the number that are selling has fallen, according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.
Between March and May, the average estate agency managed to sell only 14.7 properties, the equivalent of just over one per week.
Slow market: Estate agents are selling, on average, just one property a week
This is close to an all-time low, and far below the peak of 40 per agency sold every three months during the boom in 2002.
But the average number of properties
for sale at each agency has jumped from 66 to 71.3 over the past month,
the highest level since December 2008.
One agent, from Colchester, Essex, said: 'The market is more unpredictable than at any stage I can remember in the 28 years I have been an agent.
'There is an air of caution all round, as redundancies start to bite.'
The situation is a nightmare for
anybody who urgently needs to sell their property, but cannot find a
buyer even if they agree to cut the price.
There is a long list of urgent
reasons why people need to sell, from needing to move for a new job to
no longer being able to pay the mortgage.
The mood among estate agents is
gloomy and apprehensive all over the country, except in London where
prices continue to rise and buyers fight to buy the most expensive
Agents said the market was 'tough',
and that buyers were feeling 'nervous'. The lack of first-time buyers
remains an acute problem.
An agent from Burnham Market, Norfolk, said: 'Unfortunately, buyers seem to have cooled and are becoming increasingly cautious.'
Ian Perry, from the RICS, said:
'Buyer interest in purchasing property remains flat across much of the
country. And there is little sign of this changing any time soon.
'Uncertainty over the economic outlook remains as important as the availability of mortgage finance in depressing demand.'
The situation in London is very different, particularly in the more expensive areas where prices are fuelled by overseas buyers.
Savills, the upmarket estate agency,
said an extraordinary £3.7billion was spent last year by foreigners on
'prime' homes in the capital.
Overall, nearly one in three prime properties sold in London last year was bought by an overseas buyer, who does not necessarily live in it permanently.
Halifax's house price index shows the activity - or lack of it - over the last year in terms of average price
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On the positive side, the estate agents are only robbing one punter a week instead of the usual 30 or more.
- happy phill, morecambe, england, 14/6/2011 12:33
The UK will be a better, more economically mobile and fairier place when house prices are allowed to drop back to sensible and historically NORMAL loans to wage values. It is not a fair and economically healthy place when the market resembles a PYRAMID SCHEME run ultimately for the benefit of the few (banks) at the expense of the many and the very fabnric of family life. ha ha gotta love Sibley, "When prices rise by 16%". Firstly shouldn't that be "if" unless you have powers of foresight that out strip anything known to mankind. Secondly, and a very big "if", if they did rise by 16% (think you are referring to the Daily Express whose owner has a £200 million property profolio) over the 4 years as stated that would still be less than the annual rate of inflation! What a naive chap you are Sibley. Really does anyone trust the words of a deluded vested interest of an indivual howling at the moon.
- Austin, Harrogate, 14/6/2011 12:23
Is there a particular area they base these figures on , or is this a countrywide average? This information always seems to be ambiguous. If it true then all I can say is that Devon is bucking the trend. 5 'sold' signs gone up within my area in the last week.
- Sue, Devon, uk, 14/6/2011 12:09
Selling one average priced home per week, they'd still be taking 130k minimum. I don't feel sorry for them. - JR, Notts. UK, 14/6/2011 10:59 Are you assuming that estate agents take 100% of the property price or that they're taking commission and that the average house price is in excess of £4million?
- Sarah, Coventry, 14/6/2011 12:07
@Lilly, Devon. My definition of 'getting real' at the present moment would include increasing interest rates immediately to allow house prices to correct to the sane long-term level of 3.5 times annual income.
- Keith, Kent, England, 14/6/2011 11:47
the government should impose 25% property sales tax ON THE SELLER - they are the ones who profited the most during the boom years and it's time they paid some back! - Victor Stirling, UK, 14/6/2011 10:39****** What a silly misguiede person you are. Why on earth should some-one who sells their home have to pay a sellers tax, don't you live in the reaal world? have ou never bought a house? when one buys a house one is hit with all kinds of cost from stamp duty to surveyors reports, if you are fortunate enough to have made a bit of a profit on your property you should not be penelized. BTL have to pay CGT and thats the way it should be but no-way should homeowner be stung by a sellers tax. You need to get real, you really do.
- Lilly, Devon, 14/6/2011 11:32
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