Housing market confidence returns as sales rise

Couple browsingResidential property sales are at their highest level since 2009, reflecting renewed confidence in the housing market.

The latest data from the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) revealed another monthly increase in the average number of sales made by NAEA members.

Average sales increased from nine per branch in April to ten in May. This follows a continued rise from the beginning of the year, where in January the number of sales reported by NAEA members was only seven per branch.

The NAEA also revealed a 14% rise in the average number of house hunters compared with last year’s figures – up from an average of 274 per branch in May 2012 to 313 in May 2013. This is in addition to a month-on-month improvement, up from an average of 310 in April 2013 and 286 in March 2013.

Meanwhile, the average number of first time buyers (FTBs) has dropped from 23% in April to 20% in May, which suggests more still needs to be done to help this section of the market. The supply of properties also saw a slight decrease from 61 average properties for sale per branch in April to 60 in May, possibly due to the record sales figures in recent months.

Mark Hayward, managing director of the NAEA, said: “These really are encouraging figures; serious house hunters are continuing to enter the market and are intent on buying. The current low lending rates have created attractive conditions for those with sizable deposits who are thinking of buying or moving home. The story is reversed for first time buyers though with figures down on last month, suggesting that there are still issues surrounding access to finance for this group.

“We are hopeful that this positive trend will continue, with the sunny weather likely to bring even more house hunters to the market; plus if banks continue to compete on rates and offer increasingly attractive deals, savvy homebuyers may find their options in the market increase.”

Source: propertyinvestortoday.co.uk
 
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