UK market buoyant as positive growth trend continues

Robyn Hall

April 30, 2012

Month-on-month data for April 2012 shows that nationwide residential property sales increased by 9.5% – the third consecutive monthly increase – whilst new ‘for sale’ listings also rose by 13.3% compared to March – the fourth consecutive monthly increase.

Given a longer-term perspective, new ‘for sale’ listings during April were the highest since May of last year and the second highest since August 2010, whilst ‘sold’ properties achieved the highest monthly volume since February 2010.

Of the 12 UK regions covered within the Index, 10 saw month-on-month increases in new listings during April, compared to March, whilst 11 regions saw increases in properties sold. For both categories, figures were also reassuringly positive when comparing performances for April with those of April last year. Specific high-flying regions for new listings were Wales – up by 17%, the South West – up 18.9%, Scotland – up 25.8% and the South East – up by 33.4%. For sold properties, the best regional performers in April followed similar lines with the South East – up 19.4%, Scotland – up 20.5%, the South West – up 29% and Wales – up by 85.4%.

NatWest economist blames stamp duty for stalling London and SE markets

Monthly comparisons of new ‘for sale’ listings for individual towns and cities in April, saw the nation’s hot-spots as Cardiff – up by 32.2%, Glasgow – up 33.4%, Cambridge – up 37.1% and Exeter with an increase of 43.7%. Market leaders in terms of sold properties were Norwich – up by 50.7%, Carlisle – up 55.2%, Cambridge – up 62.3% and Newcastle with an increase of 67.9%.

Stephen Watson, managing director, Agency Express, said: “Despite concerns over the impact from the ending of the Stamp Duty ‘holiday’ for first-time buyers and the government’s ‘double-dip recession figures’ announced last week, the UK housing market remains in good health.

“Our Property Activity Index offers a different view on the market place compared to other indices… it’s a barometer as to what is happening or is likely to happen in the near future, so with the monthly volume of board movements hitting their highest levels in over two years and consecutive month on month growth since the New Year, I am optimistic that we will continue to see strong performances throughout 2012.”

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