Restricted mortgage lending caused housing sales to hit a 30-year low last month, new figures show.
Housing sales have slumped to their lowest level in 30 years, according to the latest data from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics). The organisation said surveyors were conducting less than one transaction per week in September.
The average number of transactions per surveyor over the last three months has fallen to 11.5, the smallest figure since the Rics survey began in 1978, with those in London seeing the biggest downturn in business and reporting am average of just eight sales each over the period.
Meanwhile, the balance of surveyors reporting house price falls increased to 91 percent, up from 86 percent in August. New instructions to sell property also declined for the ninth consecutive month.
Rics said that while property prices are falling, tighter mortgage market conditions are making it difficult for potential buyers to secure finance. Spokesman Jeremy Leaf said: "As it stands, only those with significant finances are in a position to access the market. Unless mortgage liquidity improves, the market is likely to remain a dormant beast for some time to come."
Halifax released its house price data recently, reporting a year-on-year decline of 13 percent in September - the largest annual fall ever recorded by the mortgage lender. In September alone, prices were found to have dropped by 1.3 percent.