Sales of houses drop by a third

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HOUSE sales dropped by almost a third in the 12 months to June, a government report shows.

The latest Quarterly Economic Report to the Council of Ministers says the number of houses sold in the island in the 12 months to June this year dropped significantly on the previous 12-month period – from 923 to 646.

Although the report points out these are provisional figures, the fact remains the figures show a worrying drop of almost a third. Sales of flats also dropped, from 180 to 137.

The average price of a house is marginally up on the previous 12 months, the report shows, from £287,584 to £290,199.

The average price of a flat is down, however, from £160,909 to £150,656. As with the sales figures, this is billed as provisional data.

The figures come amid a mixed picture for the construction industry, which continues to report low levels of activity and a reliance on government capital projects.

However, the report adds: ‘One potential bright spot for building firms is the recent amendment to the House Purchase Assistance Scheme to assist first-time buyers.

‘It is hoped that the changes will enable more first-time buyers to enter the housing market, and stimulate new builds and activity.’

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