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UK property market 'stable' amid wobbly confidence

An estate agent body has said the UK housing market is showing signs of stabilising, although buyer confidence remains ‘shaky’. The National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) said its members were reporting stability in the number of sales agreed.

Officials added it seemed some buyers were keeping a close eye on the market before taking the plunge, as many were worried about a possible drop in prices. NAEA president Chris Brown said:

“Property supply is good but buyers are being cautious.

“It is apparent from the survey results that some people are adopting a ‘wait and see’ attitude, watching the market before making any decisions.”

He added first-time buyers feeling the effects of the credit crunch were particularly likely to be holding back from getting on the property ladder. Statistics released by the association showed the average difference between asking and sales prices remained at 4.7 per cent.

A regional breakdown showed agents in many areas say potential buyers have been withdrawing recently. The lettings market appears to still be strong in most areas. Mr Brown added:

“Some agents are also finding it difficult to stop sales falling through as people get ‘cold feet’ or fail to secure mortgages but we must remember this happens in the best of markets.”

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