Recent figures have shown that during the past 3 months up to August, only 14 homes per estate agent were sold in the UK, the lowest numbers for over two years. Factors such as a lack of mortgage lending and overall economic uncertainty have been widely blamed for the current state of the housing market.
Surveyors have reported that August saw a greater number of price falls than price rises, and some expect prices to drop even further within the next three months.
Concerned developers and potential home sellers have been affected increasingly by sales fallen through and a general lack of interest. Some estate agents have noted a sharp drop in the number of first time buyers coming through, while those have taken their first step onto the property ladder often have significant long-term savings. As a result, first-time buyers are becoming older, owing partly to an increase in the deposit of the purchase price required to get a home loan.
Northern Ireland has seen the sharpest price fall in the last year according to the house price survey carried out by the government, reporting a decline of 4.1%.