The number of homeowners selling their properties has dropped by 43% in the past year, as falling house prices deter potential sellers.

There are 20,000 properties coming to the market each week, down from 35,000 a year ago, according to the website Rightmove. It reported a decline of 2.9% in asking prices this month, to £222,979, but said that tighter constraints on mortgage availability were likely to ease next year.

The amount that homeowners hope to achieve in a sale has fallen by 7.1% this year, the biggest annual decline recorded by Rightmove since it began compiling figures in 2002.

Asking prices in Wales and the North West of England have fallen the most in the past year, down by 11.2% and 9.3% respectively, against a more muted 5.4% decline in London. However, estate agents are reporting that buyers are knocking as much as 20% off peak prices.

The Times