The average number of completed house sales per surveyor fell further in August as a lack of mortgage finance continued to stifle the ability of buyers to access the market said the RICS.

In its UK housing market survey published today it said that 81% more surveyors reported a fall than a rise in house prices, a decrease from 83.1% in July.

While the average number of transactions recorded per surveyor for the past three months is at 12.7 which is the lowest figure since the survey began with some estate agents in a number of regions reporting less than one sale per week.

The RICS said the continued inability of many to secure mortgage finance was reflected in this collapse in transactions.

It said demand remained weak in August with 28% more surveyors reporting a fall than a rise in new buyer demands compared to 27% in July. In June and July, surveyors reported that many sellers had dropped asking prices to more realistic levels and that ‘predatory buyers were waiting to pounce on bargains, but the traditionally weak month of August has seen this interest stagnate’.

New instructions to sell property edged closer to positive territory with 2% more surveyors reporting a fall than a rise, up from 3% in June. The RICS said the latest repossession figures still remain ‘well below the levels seen in the early 1990’s’ and the Government’s rescue package may have alleviated some of the trauma associated with this process.