Gloom in the market reaches the high-street as agents and removals companies shed staff

Regional observers for the Bank of England say that there have been “signs that estate agents and removals companies have been looking to reduce their staffing” as the housing market shows more signs of deflating. The Council of Mortgage Lenders said lending fell for the first time since 2000 in September, increasing fears of a crash in house prices.

Michael Nower, Finance Director of Countrywide, the UK’s biggest estate agent, told the Daily Telegraph: “I can’t say we haven’t fired anyone, but we have not been on a major redundancy programme.” He added that the company would simply not look to replace any staff that left.