Home sales in the United Kingdom fell to a six-year low in October, as investors and homebuyers sought to sell as much as possible as the Bank of England tightened monetary policy and the government prepares to hold another national budget.
The data from the British Home Builders Association showed that sales fell in October from the same month last year, when the month started with record sales.
Home sales fell by 11,000 units, the largest monthly drop since April.
In contrast, the number of new sales rose by a whopping 17,000 to 3,400 units, or a 22% increase.
In terms of the overall number of sales, sales dropped by a smaller percentage than in October.
Sales fell by just 5% to a total of 1,973,000.
In October, the Bank raised interest rates from 0.25% to 0.5% for the first time in seven years.
In November, it will gradually reduce its key rate to 0% and increase it to 0,25% from 0,1%.
“In the UK, home sales have been very weak since the end of last year,” said Rob Poulton, head of the BHBA.
“It’s clear the economy is recovering but sales are still in the low single digits.”
The BHSA’s annual report said that sales are down 12% in the three months to October, while the number selling fell by 9%.
The number of homes that are unsold is at a record low.
The number that are on the market has been dropping since the start of the year, with the BBA noting that last year the number was at a near record high of 7,717,000, which is down from a peak of 12,569,000 in 2015.
Home purchases are up, but still down in the UK since the middle of last week, when prices were at a peak and demand for homes was strong.
“The strong economy and buoyant stock market have boosted demand for properties, but the housing market has also been a big drag on prices,” said Poulson.
“House prices have been at a steady, low level for years.
People are now getting worried about the pace of the recovery, and are looking to sell.”
In October 2016, sales were down 17% to 3.35 million, while sales in October 2015 were up 14% to 4.34 million.
In the year to October this year, the BHBAs figures show that sales rose 5% in London, while it fell 0.2% in Birmingham and 0.1% in Cardiff.
The BHBAS’s numbers are published by real estate agency Knight Frank, which tracks sales.
The survey shows that the percentage of new listings is down 4% in November compared to October last year.
It was up 12% this year in Birmingham, 10% in Sheffield, 9% in Hull, and 8% in Oxfordshire.
“We’re seeing a slowdown in house price growth in the city,” said Chris Walker, a Knight Frank UK managing director.
“In other words, people are looking for more stable housing, and a bit more affordable prices are seen as a better value.”
The Bank of Europe has lowered interest rates to 0%.
Home sales were at record lows in October and November, and they are now down 15% in 2016.
Inflation is also lower than last year with inflation at 0.6% in October compared to 1.1%.
The Bank said the fall in prices is the result of an improving labour market.
The unemployment rate in the country is 6.5%, and there are also more people living in private rented accommodation.
It said that there were 5.2 million more people in the private rented sector in October than in November, up from 3.9 million in October 2016.
Home prices in the City of London are at their lowest point in a decade.
The Bank has said that prices are set to fall further in the coming years.
“This means that a new house will be worth less in 2020 and beyond,” said Knight Frank’s Walker.
“As more and more people move to London, it’s unlikely that prices will stay low.”
Home sales have dropped by 11% since October.
The Home Builder’s Association is calling on buyers to sell and the Home Build Business Association is also calling for buyers to get out of the market.