Agents sold less than a property a week on average last month, says RICS

The slump in house prices accelerated in September as sales fell to their lowest level in at least 30 years, according to the RICS.

Its latest data shows estate agents sold less than one property per week on average last month. The number of UK houses sold was at its lowest level since the survey began in 1978 and 52% lower than in September last year.

London performed particularly poorly, with an average of just eight sales per estate agent over the previous three months.

RICS spokesperson Jeremy Leaf said: “As it stands, only those with significant finances are in a position to access the market. The housing market continues to hold its breath and unless mortgage liquidity improves, the market is likely to remain a dormant beast for some time to come.”

However, the body said there was a small improvement in the number of new enquiries from potential buyers – possibly owing to the temporary stamp duty reprieve – and surveyors were “surprisingly optimistic” that sales would improve over the next three months.