Property downturn levelling out

The property downturn may be levelling out despite a record slump in the numbers of people seeking mortgages, the National Association of Estate Agents claims.

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A survey by the association shows stability in the number of viewings needed before a property is sold, the time it takes to sell and the number of sales yet to be completed.

Just over one in 10 of agents polled agreed sales are falling through, with some areas reporting failure rates of 25%. Homes now take an average of 13 viewings and nearly 14 weeks to sell.

NAEA president Chris Brown said: "July figures show that there is still an indication of stability in the market, although consumers continue to adopt a 'wait and see' approach."

Agents reported an average of just 192 househunters on their books, the lowest level since figures began in May 2003. The survey said this could be blamed on the holiday season.

Sales levels remained subdued, with estate agents reporting selling an average of six properties during the month, compared with 10 in July 2007.

Meanwhile, the number of homes agents had on their books increased slightly during the month to 95, compared with 94 in June, and more than double the 45 for July last year.

Copyright © PA Business 2008

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