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Sales volumes hit record low, reveals RICS

Agents completed an average 9.9 sales in the three months to January, according to the latest Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors survey.

It is the lowest figure since the first RICS survey in 1978.

An average of 10 sales was recorded in the three months to December.

The survey of 299 surveyor offices was carried out between December 15 and January 2.

The percentage of chartered surveyors who predicted a fall rather than a rise in house prices has increased since December, from 73.9% to 76.3%.

Meanwhile, 16% more chartered surveyors reported a rise than a fall in new buyer enquiries, with 10% more chartered surveyors expecting sales to improve in the coming months.

Jeremy Leaf, a spokesman for RICS, says: "The latest survey provides further evidence of the eagerness of buyers to try and pick up bargains. This interest has yet to translate into sales but transactions may pick up in the coming months if the Government follows through on its recent announcement and introduces guarantees for the issuance of residential mortgage-backed securities. The latest cut in interest rates may improve confidence for those on the margins, encouraging buyers looking for more attractive finance deals."


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