Sales slump in April

Numbers out today (Wednesday) from HM Revenue & Customs confirm that the housing market nationally remains on the critical list. The total number of homes sold in April was 7.6% below the 79,000 sold in April last year.

Just 73,000 sales underlines just how vulnerable we are to a market collapse. “In April 2007more than 139,000 properties changed hands across the UK. Last month will have been a terrible experience for many businesses connected to the house buying and selling business. Builders, plumbers, removal companies as well as estate agents, mortgage salesmen and printers of change of address cards will all be suffering. The gated community within the M25 seems to be the only place bucking the trend.

The beep, beep, beep you can hear isn’t the sound of estate agents on their Blackberries, it’s the sound of cardiac massage being applied to the housing market. Sellers are still asking too much with average asking prices now a whopping £239,000 according to web site The Halifax and the Land Registry both reckon that the average house is only worth £160,000.

London may still be the beating heart of the housing market but the rest of the body has gone into seizure and we are unlikely to see much improvement through the year.