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Housing sales hit lowest point in a decade

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New figures from housing company Rightmove have revealed the number of new homes for sale has decreased to its lowest in more than a decade.

Only 34,433 properties have come on to the market since the beginning of the year which equates to around half of pre-credit crunch levels, the findings highlight the current housing market after it emerged borrowing costs have fallen to a 14 year low with the average mortgage payment for new borrowers standing at 27%.

Housing company Rightmove noticed an early indication of how the housing market may shape up for the rest of the year when the first week of January saw asking prices rise by 14% although prices were still down 0.8%  for the month, showing a seller shortage to underpin prices this year.

The current market marks the lowest since 1997 when a 26% portion was recorded and stands below the 37% average over the past 27 years. People who are expected to be in a difficult position in 2012 are said to be renters and sellers of an average home who are unwilling or unable to find a cut-price deal.

Rightmove have also shown how the housing market has decreased with only one house being listed per branch per week, highlighting that people are more reluctant to put their property on the market given the current financial crisis the UK is in, even though house prices are currently cheaper than December 2011.

Findings also showed that people are still actively looking for properties but not actually putting their homes on the market with 44 million property searches being made in the first week of January.

Miles Shipside, Director of Rightmove commented on the search activity saying: “Old records are being shattered as search activity is up by a staggering 27% on this time last year.

“Potential buyers and sellers are looking more often and researching more thoroughly. In areas where there is a lot of property up for sale, buyers are looking hard for properties that tempt them with something really special in terms of value, potential, location or quality of finish.”

The housing market is known for its constant change throughout the year with 2012 expected to be no different to 2011, where we saw an ongoing pattern of housing prices rising and falling.

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By Amanda Bainbridge