As a result of on-going mortgage difficulties and lengthening chains, September saw the average times from agreeing a deal to exchange increase to 12 weeks, twice what it was a year ago.

With an amazing 30 per cent fewer family houses over the same period, it seems that many are deciding to stay put or, if relocating, are renting out their house rather than selling.

For many people this market is making them feel as if they have to paddle faster to stay in the same place.