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Government Figures Confirm Property Market Slump

House sale data from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) have revealed that the UK housing market has seen a sharp fall in transactions over the last 12 months. Figures for the first 5 months of 2008 show there were 504,000 sales above the £40,000 stamp duty threshold, a fall of over 30% from the 743,000 sales confirmed for the same period last year.

Alarmingly the figures also show sales fell 15% to 100,000 last month alone and are down 37% on the corresponding month last year. While there are a number of factors to consider such as a slowing economy and soft house prices, many are pointing the finger at the mortgage companies who have withdrawn 95% and 100% mortgages – affectively taking first time buyers out of the equation.

As we have covered a number of times on this site it looks as though the economy will slow more before it starts to recover and there are real concerns that we may actually move into recession, classified as negative growth for two consecutive quarters. Money is tight and many people are seeing their mortgage costs continue to push higher and higher, forcing house prices down.

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