My guess is that there are a number of factors behind this, the mistrust you state being one of them. The key factor I think is that a good deal the number of ‘new’ sales being recorded in recent years were down to off plan sales which were made earlier, say 06 or 07 before the crisis hit. These were only registered as sales on completion.
As the crisis drags on there are less of these coming to completion thus they make us a smaller percentage of the overall market. Resales, which IMO have remained steady of the last year or so thus form a higher percentage of the overall market.
your quite right (or better said, I agree 🙂 )
It is also one of the reasons we are seeing ‘spikes’ in the statistics. This was reflected in Augusts figures.