House sales at seven year high

Ryan Fowler

August 8, 2014

The number of sales is at the highest level since November 2007 and represents an increase of 10% over sales in June 2014 as well as a 21% increase over the same month last year.

David Brown, commercial director of LSL Property Services, said: “First-time buyers and buy-to-let landlords are helping the flow of activity in the UK housing market.

“Overall 90,000 properties were sold across England and Wales in July, up 21% on a year previously and representing the highest monthly total since November 2007.

“As the common property choice of a new buyer or investor, flats have seen the largest increase in sales during the second quarter of this year, rising a third (36%) compared to Q2 2013.

“As the market emerges from the chrysalis of regulatory change, sales have climbed 10% in the past month.

“But chequered supply across the country has created considerable regional variation in sales. London and the South East have seen the slowest growth in house sales between Q2 2013 and Q2 2014. In these areas, limited availability of property is impacting sales.”

On a monthly basis house prices across England and Wales increased by £1,624, or 0.6%, to £270,636.

This sets another new record price for the thirteenth month in succession. Excluding Greater London and the South East, where the supply of affordable housing is currently limited, the change in house prices over the month was a more modest £122, or 0.1%, and the average price paid for a home was £86,000 lower at £184,706.

Brown added: ““Housing policy should not be led astray by what is happening in prime central London.

“If London and the South East are removed from the equation, the annual change in average houses prices drops by 5.3% to 4.6%. Average prices in Northamptonshire, Bournemouth, and Wiltshire rose in June as the housing recovery starts to spread.

“The tendrils of recovery may be branching out from the centre, but they haven’t yet unfurled to all corners of the country. Outside of London, the South East and East Midlands, prices dropped and stabilised across all other seven regions in June.

“A more thoughtful and prudent housing market is emerging. Lending is stabilising to sustainable levels, and supply and demand is more balanced.

“Further interventions or tighter rules could fracture the health of the recovery, particularly further afield where schemes like Help to Buy are a necessary tonic spurring new buyers onto the housing ladder.”

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