Slump sees housing sales drop to less than one per week

Those looking to move home may think again after hearing the latest statistics from the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (Rics).

According to a recent survey of estate agents, the average number of sales for the final quarter of 2008 was just 10.1 per estate agent.

With this representing less than one house sold per agency per week, homeowners may opt to improve rather than move and risk having to take a lower price for their property.

Rics spokesperson Ian Perry explained that the slump is not down to a lack of interest.

"Buyer interest is now at levels not seen since 2006 but without mortgage finance the housing market is at a standstill and transaction levels at an all-time low," he said.

Staying put may mean Brits look at how they can improve their existing property to make it more comfortable and stylish.

Some may consider adding a conservatory or kitchen extension to create an elegant setting for entertaining with views of the garden.

Rics was founded as the Institution of Surveyors in June 1868 when a group of 49 surveyors met at Westminster Palace Hotel.