RICS reports sales per agent at record low as rising enquiries stymied by lack of finance

Despite an increase in window shopping, house sales fell again in November, according to the RICS.

While the level of interest expressed by would-be buyers was the highest for two years, enquiries generally led nowhere, stymied by the crippled lending market.

The RICS housing market survey found that 14% more surveyors reported an increase in buyer enquiries, from a negative balance of minus nine.

The decline in house prices apparently slowed, with 77% more chartered surveyors reporting falling rather than rising prices, down from 81% in September.

However, the number of transactions per agent over the past three months fell to 10.6 -the lowest since the survey began 30 years ago.

Jeremy Leaf, RICS spokesman, said that the market is still depressed despite a resurgence of interest: “Many are starting to see the current market as an opportunity to purchase a previously unaffordable property despite the worsening economic picture.

“Unless people feel relatively confident about their job prospects, they are unlikely to even try to obtain mortgage finance… Vendors still have to accept the inevitable fact that house prices are falling and reprice their property to suit current market conditions.”