The latest RICS housing market survey shows that over the last three months the average number of transactions per surveyor is now at an all-time low of 12.7.
House prices improved slightly in August for the fourth consecutive month, with 81% of chartered surveyors reporting a fall in prices compared to 83.1% in July.
But the research also shows that demand for property during August remained weak. The level of new buyer enquires fell slightly from last month, going from 27% in July to 28% last month.
A spokesperson for RICS says: “A lack of mortgage liquidity is the key issue which is keeping the housing market from showing any real sign of recovery. While money is scarce, many will continue to be denied the next step on the property ladder.
“The government’s Stamp Duty policy will not be enough kick-start transactions. It is more likely to assist buy-to-let investors with better access to finance than the first-time buyers it was aimed at. More needs to be done to reinvigorate a market whose confidence has taken a severe knock.”
He adds: “In the absence of much transactional activity many home owners are being forced to rent their properties while they wait for lending criteria to be loosened and for demand to pick up.”