"The latest report from the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors indicates that for the fourth month in succession, more people are seeking to buy a home. Lower mortgage interest rates and lower house prices are proving attractive to potential buyers.
"However building activity is in sharp decline. UK homes completed in September, October and November 2008, totalled 31,104 compared to 46,671 in the previous year. For the 12 months to the end of April 2009, the National House-Building Council expects the industry to have begun no more than 80,000 homes, compared to the 184,000 begun in the year ended April 2008.
"Prospects for later in 2009 are no better. Between November and January 2009 the NHBC received 7768 private sector applications to start building. This compares to 30,631 applications in the same three months a year earlier.
"Generally, the number of homes available for sale continues to fall as fewer people are deciding to sell, either staying put or opting to rent. As a result the stock of homes for sale has fallen by around a quarter from a year ago."
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