The number of homes changing hands slid last month to the lowest level since at least 1959, in the latest sign of the severity and depth of the property crisis.

A record low of 43,000 homes worth £40,000 or more were sold in January, according to figures published by HM Revenue & Customs. At barely a quarter of the total activity when the housing market was booming, this was the lowest number of transactions since monthly records began in 2005.

According to alternative, less frequent Government statistics it is the worst month for housing market activity since at least 1959.

Daily Telegraph