House sales are set to fall to a record low next year, with less than 700,000 homes expected to change hands. This equates to households in the UK moving just once every 31 years.

Hometrack, the housing market data provider, will say today that prices are set to continue to fall next year by about 10% on average, with a further fall of 3% in 2010.

It predicts that activity in the housing market is set to seize up further, with the volume of transactions to fall 12% to 685,000, on top of a 45% decline in sales volumes over 2008.

This would mean that turnover as a proportion of housing supply will be at record lows in 2009, with just 3.2% of homes changing hands.

This equates to the average household moving once every 31 years, double the 15-year average over the past decade.

Hometrack’s estimates of a peak-to-trough fall of 22% puts it at the more optimistic end of forecasts, with some suggesting it could fall up to 30% or more. However, it says that prices for certain properties, such as one- and two-bed homes, will fall further.

Financial Times