Page last updated at 08:24 GMT, Friday, 4 April 2008 09:24 UK

House market slows as sales drop

elgin estate agent
A drop in house sales has been recorded in the first quarter

Scotland's housing market has been showing signs of slowing down - even before the mortgage squeeze of the past couple of weeks.

Registers of Scotland - the official body which tracks all house purchases - said there had been a 16% drop in sales between the end of 2006 and 2007.

In England and Wales house sales dropped by 40% over a similar period.

House prices in Scotland are remaining fairly static, with the average sale price down by 1% in the first quarter.

In December 2006 almost 15,000 houses were sold but that fell to just over 12,500 for the same month in 2007.

Some experts said the situation was likely to get worse as the mortgage squeeze started to bite.

They said there was still a big demand for mortgages but banks were unwilling to lend as freely as before.


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