Estate agents are managing to sell less than one property a week, according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

The RICS Housing Market Survey for September shows both a renewed deterioration in the net price balance and a further drop in the level of transactions. However, some comfort may be drawn from the slightly more positive tone to a number of lead indicators of activity.

Prices are still not being driven down by distressed selling. Indeed, fewer and fewer people are putting their house on the market. This is particularly true of regions including East Anglia, South West, Yorkshire and the Humberside and the East Midlands.

On the activity side, the new buyer enquiries and newly agreed sales both improved for the fifth consecutive month. Indeed, the enquiries and agreed sales balances now stand at their strongest levels since May and December 2007 respectively.

Agents and surveyors have sold the fewest number of houses in the last three months since RICS began collecting this information in 1978. Sales in London are the slowest in the country.