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New fall in property sales highlighted by report

The number of homes being bought in the UK has dropped sharply, a report revealed today.HM Revenue & Customs said that 59,000 properties changed hands in September.In September 2007, 126,000 were sold - 53 per cent more.However, the credit crunch has led to increasing restrictions on mortgage loans in the intervening months.Falling house prices - with the value of the average UK property worth over 13 per cent less than it was a year ago, according to Halifax - have also dampened customer demand."While the data are a lagging indicator as they relate to completed sales, they nevertheless provide yet further evidence of the dismal state of the housing market," said Howard Archer, chief UK economist at Global Insight. "More forward looking indicators do not make any more pleasant reading, with latest mortgage approvals and lending data showing sinking to new long-term lows as housing market activity continues to be suffocated by very tight lending conditions and still-stretched affordability ratios."

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