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House sales ‘stalled in August’

publication date: Oct 20, 2009
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Residential housingUK house sales fell in August from July, the first drop this year, according to HM Revenue & Customs. Figures from HMRC show that 83,000 homes were sold, down from 87,000 in July.

House sales had been rising steadily this year and sales in August were still double the number sold in January and 19 per cent higher than in August last year. The figures are similar to those from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML), which reported that total mortgage lending, both for house buyers and people re-mortgaging, dropped by 13 per cent in August from July.

The CML attributed this to the effect of the summer holidays but said lending would probably be subdued in the next few months. There has been some evidence that much of the new house buying, particularly by first-time buyers, has been financed substantially by loans from parents who have been providing money for their children’s mortgage deposits.

A recent survey by FindaProperty.com of more than 4,000 users showed that nearly half of first-time buyers received financial help from their families to buy a home.