House sale instructions show a drop

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The number of homeowners putting their property up for sale fell last month as fears of a double-dip recession knocked confidence.

New instructions, which reflect supply levels, dropped in September as more surveyors reported a fall rather than rise in the supply of property, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) said.

The monthly RICS housing market survey revealed a continuing decline in house prices with more surveyors recording prices falling rather than rising over the last three months.

Elsewhere, RICS said September’s survey highlighted the widening regional gap as London remains the only region where prices are rising while the rest of the UK, such as the East and West Midlands, Yorkshire & Humberside and East Anglia recorded falling prices.

The decline in new instructions comes despite mortgage providers slashing rates in a bid to draw in new customers and boosted by the Bank of England’s record low base rate of 0.5 per cent.

Average mortgage repayments stand at £574.15, making up 26 per cent of earnings after tax, according to research by the Halifax, compared with 48 per cent of take home pay at £887.62 in mid 2007.