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Housing market gloom deepened in February

The gloom in the housing market continued to worsen last month with price drops approaching those of the slump of the 1990s, according to data from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics). Figures from Rics monthly market survey show that 64.1 per per cent more surveyors reported a fall in house prices rather than a rise during February. This is up from the figure of 54.7 per cent in January and is close to the record high witnessed in June 1990 when 64.5 per cent more members reported a decrease. The study also indicated that interest from buyer is dwindling with 37 per cent more surveyors reporting a fall rather than a rise, compared with 35 per cent in January. Ian Perry, spokesman at Rics, said: "Confidence in the market is clearly having an effect on prices. A combination of a lack of available finance and weakening demand is causing a slow drop in capital values."Many would-be-buyers are either struggling to raise the necessary finance to precipitate a move or are exercising caution in light of current economic uncertainty."

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