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24 September 2008

House sales plummet 60% year-on-year

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by Kay Mitchell

House sales plummet 60% year-on-year

Figures released from HM Revenue & Customs have revealed that the amount of homes sold last month plummeted by 60% compared with a year earlier.

The official figures established that 62,000 homes were sold in August compared with 140,000 in August 2007.

The figure represents the lowest since 1959 as prospective buyers adopt a ‘wait and see’ approach, while mortgage providers continue to tighten their lending criteria, particularly even more so during the current problems in the banking industry.

The figures will undoubtedly be a concern for those trying to sell their home during the current financial crisis.

The news follows that from the British Bankers’ Association (BBA) who revealed yesterday that UK mortgage lending by the major banks fell to a fresh low in August.

Some 21,086 mortgages were approved during August, 64% lower than in August 2007. The figure represents the lowest since the BBA started gathering data in 1997.

Furthermore, the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) recently revised its forecast with regard to house prices.

The CML originally predicted a decline of 7% in house prices this year, however, it has now abandoned attempts to predict the direction of UK house prices in the short-term.

Nationwide’s chief executive, Graham Beale, recently suggested house prices might fall by 25% from their peak in August 2007.


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