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Property transactions at their lowest point in 20 years

28th Jan 2009

New figures out today show just how weak the housing market was in 2008 with the number of property sale transactions in Britain at a 20 year low and down by over 50 per cent compared to only one year ago. Less than 727,000 home sales were recorded last year compared to over 1.48 million in 2007.

Zoopla.co.uk, the UK's leading house prices website which provides free, instant value estimates on all 27 million UK homes and access to over 15 million property sale records, has revealed just how dismal the state of the British property market was in 2008, with the best month (May) barely racking up 78,000 transactions, far less than the worst month (Dec) of 2007r Overall 2008 saw only 1,990 home sales completed per day on average compared to over double that at 4,050 per day a year earlier.

Year Number of home sales
2008 726,887
2007 1,480,152
2006 1,525,798
2005 1,220,060
2004 1,371,021
2003 1,357,491
2002 1,446,202
2001 1,353,663

With the average home in Britain losing £26,813 in value in 2008 according to Zoopla.co.uk latest figures, a staggering 3.2 million homeowners across the country are now faced with being 'underwater' having paid more for their homes than they are now worth - an increase of 2.7 million British homeowners in this position compared to the start of last year.

Alex Chesterman, CEO and founder of Zoopla.co.uk, comments:

"One of the best indicators of market direction is often transaction volume and property activity was incredibly weak in 2008 with only 2.75 percent of the housing stock in Britain changing hands, about half the average volume of the last few years. The unprecedented fall in activity brought about by the credit crunch has led to the sharp decline in prices witnessed in recent months. With estate agents reporting an increase in interest in the first few weeks on this year, the key to stabilising the market in 2009 lies in the government's ability to unlock the credit freeze so that buyers are able to act on that interest."

- Ends -

For further information, please contact Tim Vooght at pr@zoopla.co.uk or on 020 3872 5615.

Notes to Editors

About Zoopla.co.uk

Zoopla.co.uk is a unique property website offering users information and tools to help them make better-informed property decisions. Our aim is to provide the most comprehensive source of residential property market information in the UK to help buyers, sellers, owners and estate agents alike and give them an advantage in the property market.

In 2007, following the success of bringing DVD rental to the web with LOVEFiLM.com, Zoopla founders Alex Chesterman and Simon Kain realised that the UK property market had yet to fully enjoy the benefits of the internet in terms of its ability to deliver transparency and efficiency. They set out with the mission to transform the property market for both professionals and consumers by:

  • offering users FREE access to instant value estimates, sold house prices and local information and trends
  • enhancing estate agents' marketing efficiency by providing exposure/leads on a pay-for-performance basis
  • helping users find local agents and other property professionals to assist them in the transaction process
  • letting buyers make offers on ANY UK home and owners test interest in their homes before choosing to sell
  • creating an environment where anyone can ask/answer questions and share their knowledge about homes

We have started by providing FREE value estimates, sold prices and local information as well as letting users add content by editing information and uploading photos. We are the UK's fastest growing property website and by far the largest and most active property community in the UK, with over a million user contributions to our website in 2008 alone. We have already launched some unique features, like TemptMe™ and AskMe™, which allow consumers to gain an insight into the market and discover information they won't find anywhere else. Our estate agent directory, FindAnAgent and our unique AskAnAgent feature allow users to contact local professionals directly for their expertise. Very soon we will begin accepting estate agent listing feeds and delivering buyer leads to agents on a no-risk, performance-based model, making Zoopla.co.uk the most cost-effective way for agents to gain exposure and develop their inventory pipeline.

Our value estimates are calculated using a proprietary algorithm (a secret formula) that we have developed by analysing millions of data points relating to property sales and home characteristics throughout the UK. The algorithm works by comparing relationships between home prices, economic trends and property characteristics in given geographic areas. Our estimates are constantly refined, using the most recent data available from public sources combined with our proprietary used-generated data and a variety of statistical methodologies, in order to provide the most current information on any home.

Zoopla Limited is a privately held company with a highly experienced and proven management team, backed by well-respected angel investors and leading venture capital firms Atlas Venture (atlasventure.com) and Octopus Ventures (octopusventures.com).

Zoopla.co.uk Awards

  • Winner: 'UK's Most Promising Internet Company 2008' (First Tuesday)
  • Winner: 'Best Property Website - Gold Award' (Web User Magazine)
  • Winner: 'Best Real Estate website 2008' (Websiteoftheyear.co.uk)

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