The latest statistics from HM Revenue & Customs show that new record lows have been plumbed by sales in the UK housing market.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, sales in September dropped to just 38% of the peak level reached in December 2006.

Taking a broad brush view, it would seem that sales will settle at a level of below half that which one might have expected in a "normal" market. The implications are that this will mean fewer than 1 million homes sold annually.

Put that rate of transactions another way, it means each house is sold on average once every 25 years or so.