House sales across the West Midlands have moved close to 2007 transaction levels, according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.
In May the average number of sales per surveyor in the region was 22, down by four per cent from May 2007’s figure of 23, showing a weak recovery.
The RICS Housing Market Survey also revealed that homes in the West Midlands are taking considerably longer to sell.
During the three months to May, surveyors sold 23 per cent of the homes on their books, a substantial fall from 34 per cent seen in the same period in 2007.
Surveyors expect transaction levels to continue to be slow over the next three months, with 16 per cent more respondents predicting falls.
RICS spokesman for the West Midlands, Andrew Grant of estate agents Andrew Grant, said: “Mortgage funding continues to be very constrained and with the ongoing economic struggle and stamp duty adjustments, there has only been a slight recovery of transaction levels since the beginning of this year.
“Sales of property below £350,000 are the strongest and this appears to be a result of an unusually large proportion of the market ‘downsizing’ - thereby increasing demand for the lower priced homes.
“This extra demand is creating a noticeable shortage of supply which is, in turn, supporting prices for properties in this particular sector. “Whereas there had been relative stagnation in the higher-priced sectors, seasonal factors have now increased activity but with sales confined to the most competitively priced only.”
Prices in the West Midlands remained in negative territory as 46 per cent more respondents reported falls in prices. This reading has now been in negative territory since May 2010.
Results in most parts of the UK were consistent with prices edging downwards last month.
London once again outperformed the rest of the country as the only area to record more surveyors reporting increasing rather than decreasing prices.