The housing market has not functioned normally for six years, an estate agency firm has said.
CB Richard Ellis said that it is running at around two-thirds of its normal capacity.
While there are signs of minor improvements in credit conditions, the property firm says large deposit requirements continue to constrain many buyers. First-time buyers, who would make up around half of all mortgage approvals under normal conditions, are currently only making up just over a third.
Jennet Siebrits, head of residential research at CB Richard Ellis, said: “Our observations suggest that the last time the housing market was functioning ‘normally’ was in 2005.
“Since we last benchmarked the housing market against long-term averages six months ago, conditions have deviated further from these trends.
“This is illustrative of a rocky road to recovery and primarily reflects weaker house prices.
“The market is showing further signs of weakening and this is likely to continue for a year or so as the housing market and wider economy are hit by political and fiscal tightening.”