Houses across the UK are taking longer to sell because of the stagnation of the property market, it has been claimed.
The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) said its estate agency members sold less than a quarter (23 per cent) of the homes on their books in the 12 weeks to May.
The figure is nearly half that recorded in the same period of 2007, when sold 41 per cent of their homes for sale .
RICS said property sales were continuing to be affected by the reluctance of banks and other lenders to approve mortgages for many potential home buyers, but added that its members expect market conditions to improve over the coming months.
Chief Executive Peter Bolton King commented: "Ongoing economic instability in the UK and overseas has continued to undermine consumer confidence, and the reluctance of many banks to offer affordable mortgage products has created something of a stagnant market."
"In spite of this, a gradual stability is returning to the market and surveyors expect transaction levels to increase over the coming months, even if prices continue to dip across most parts of the country."