Eight-year low for home sales

The number of homes being sold fell to an eight-year low during December, as the severe winter weather exacerbated an already subdued housing market, research indicates today.

Bad weather and the approach of Christmas led to the average estate agent branch selling just four properties during the month, the lowest level since January 2003, and much lower than half the seven sold in November, according to the National Association of Estate Agents.

Mike Jones, president of the NAEA, said: "December is always a slow month, but these figures are worse than usual. However, it is important not to read too much into it. This lack of sales can be explained by freak weather conditions, rather than underlying problems with the market."