Activity in the housing market declined in October as the number of buyers and sellers fell, the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) is reporting.
Estate agents have been seeing less buyers and sellers over recent months, however the number of completed transactions is being maintained at an average of seven property sales branch per month.
The slowdown of the housing market is being attributed to the looming Christmas festivities and the onset of winter. It is normal for the property market to slowdown as Christmas nears.
The slowing down of market activity is also being exacerbated by sells being unwilling to accept falling house prices and buyers still finding it difficult to meet strict lending criteria being set by mortgage lenders.
According to Michael Jones, President of the NASA, “many sellers believe that the lack of available housing stock means they can make a sale without lowering the price of their home. However house-hunters are also confident of a good deal.”
The latest NASA report does highlight an area of optimism however, as the number of sales to first time buyers increased in October from 23%, compared to 20% in September.
“It is reassuring that sales seem stable and we have actually seen a slight increase in the percentage of sales made to first time buyers.
“But mortgage restrictions will need to be eased if we are to see any real increases across the market moving into the early part of 2011.”, Mr Jones said.