December house sales show continuing recovery

Nia Williams

January 18, 2010

Whilst December’s monthly house sales experienced the usual seasonal decrease, dropping 33.2% on November’s, overall sales are up 45.6% on December 2008.

It was the eighth month running that 2009 monthly house sales exceeded the corresponding monthly sales in 2008, providing robust evidence that the UK housing market is regaining its buoyancy. Further encouragement is offered by the fact that December’s house sales were down only 14.4% on December 2007’s level.

All UK regions saw a significant fall in monthly house sales in December but again there was some encouraging news here as seven regions – Central England, East Anglia, North West, North East, Wales, West Midlands and Yorkshire – had their best December for two years.

Commenting on the latest Index results, Stephen Watson, managing director, Agency Express, said: “To see house sales drop off in the run up to the festive season was no surprise at all but the fact that since May 2009 monthly sales have been greater than the corresponding months in 2008 shows that there is a real basis of optimism for 2010. Whilst all regions saw sales decline, seven regions experienced their best level of sales in December for two years and that a handful of cities actually saw a rise in sales.

“Although we tend not to see much activity at all after the middle of December as people prepare for Christmas, the spectre of Stamp Duty being reintroduced in the New Year may have encouraged a few more people to complete before Hogmanay. It will be interesting to see how the bad weather we have experienced in the first week of January will affect house sales this month.”

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