House sales slump to an 8-year low

House sales slump to an 8-year low

16:33 PM, 14th January 2011, About 13 years ago 3

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The big freeze sent a chill through the housing market as sales slumped to an eight-year low in December.

Estate agents say sales plummeted to just an average two per branch for the month – the lowest figure since January 2003.

In November 2010, average sales were seven properties per branch.

Sellers and agents expect fewer sales in the holiday season, but this year snow and ice gripped the nation and kept everyone indoors.

Sales have picked up since the New Year, according to the latest report from the National Association of Estate Agents, but they say the market is unlikely to fully recover for some weeks.

“December is always a slow month for agents, but there is little doubt that these figures are worse than usual. However it is important not to read too much into it. This lack of sales can be explained by freak weather conditions, rather than any underlying problem with the market,” said NAEA president Mike Jones.

Rightmove reports selling prices edge up

“We would hope to see a bounce-back in the next few months. Indeed, the New Year has begun very strongly and agents have reported a very busy couple of weeks that we are hopeful will continue.”

Meanwhile, online property portal Rightmove says sellers have upped their prices by an average £711 per property (0.3%) in December – the first rise for three months.

The web site also claims fewer homes are coming to market with levels at their lowest since January 2009.

“Potential sellers, mainly of semi-detached properties, are either unable or unwilling to move,” said a Rightmove spokesman.

Rightmove expects house prices to stabilise over the next few months as more sellers hold back from the market to create an undersupply of homes for sale, while demand is expected to increase.

The NAEA also pointed out less prospective buyers registered with agents – with the average per estate agent branch dropping from 241 to 227 people from November to December.

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17:40 PM, 14th January 2011, About 13 years ago

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15:08 PM, 16th January 2011, About 13 years ago

Wow, did I just read blatantly that sellers plan to withhold houses from the market in order to exploit people who need homes for their families at exploitive prices? Is it really any wonder why homes are not being sold? I think it's very obvious this attitude is the cause of the slump which is no doubt absolutely not caused by weather conditions. Homes are not being bought because: too many homes are being buildt which are overtly luxurious versus the pay of the people who need them, also because the prices of the homes are exploitive, and people cannot afford them. People wake it up. You must offer an economical, modest home to the people that is affordable, and the people need and want options and competition, they will lock up the money when they feel cornered and exploited. I certainly wouldn't buy a property from the company mentioned in this article because I would know I was most likely being overcharged. People do not need mansions, they need modest properties. This is the fault of the exploiters and now it has come back around to bite in the pocket book and I feel no pitty nor do I believe this condition will improve with this continued attitude and selling practice. Remember the housing crisis was caused by these same practices and exploitive principles, in what world would anyone imagine continuing those principles would fix the crisis? Just something to chew on.

11:54 AM, 18th January 2011, About 13 years ago

Hi Erin

You are obviously in America, we are a UK based web-site. The property economy here is very different. Government figures suggest that 250,000 houses need to be built every year to keep pace with demand. However, we've been building less than 40% of that figure for over a decade due to red tape and planning regulations. Demand far outweighs supply here. However, we are feeling the credit sqeeze because mortgages are very hard to get hold of. Therefore, it's not overdevelopment causing property to devalue here, it's the knock on effect of the NINJA (No Income No Job or Asetts) lending that took place your side of the pond.



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