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House sales 'at 30-year low'

House sales in the UK have fallen to a 30-year low, figures from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) have indicated.The average number of completed sales by each member of the Rics dropped to 10.9 between August and October, the lowest value since the record began in 1978.However, Rics members were positive about the future, with one fifth expecting sales to increase by the end of 2008.The figure was just four per cent in September.According to spokesman Ian Perry, the Bank of England interest rate cut last week will boost sales, although he warned that the lack of mortgage finance was creating "a major blockage" in the market."Fortunately, many vendors have finally started to accept current market conditions and are dropping their asking prices to achieve a sale," he said."Sales should increase in the coming months as more and more sellers understand that greater realism is the only way to make that long desired move."Despite the optimism in the Rics, house builder Taylor Wimpey said it did not foresee a recovery in the housing market in the short term.

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