January 24, 2012

UK house sales down 11% in 2011

UK house sales fell 11% last year to 869,000, one of the lowest totals on record, HM Revenue & Customs has said.
It means the property market has been in a three-year slump, with sales roughly half the levels recorded in the run up to the banking crisis in 2007.
Sales have been depressed by a combination of mortgage rationing by lenders, and rising unemployment.
The record low was in 2009, when just 848,000 homes were sold, the fewest since modern records began in 1978.

The Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) has predicted that total lending, to both buyers and people remortgaging, will fall again this year, which suggests that sales may fall further.
Other changes are also likely to suppress any significant rise in lending and sales.
In 2013, new rules devised by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) will be introduced to stop lenders reverting to lending habits of the recent past.
The FSA will ban mortgages where the loan is greater than the value of the property, and will also stop loans to people who cannot prove they have sufficiently large incomes to repay their home loans.

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