Housing sales up 21pc
There were 760,000 property sales in England and Wales from January to October 2014, the highest number since 2007.
Andy Hulme, mortgages director at Lloyds Bank, said: “The recovery in the housing market continued in 2014 with sales rising further in almost all areas of the country.
“Low interest rates, improvements in the UK economy and government schemes, such as Help to Buy, all appear to have contributed to the rise in home sales.
“Despite these improvements, sales both nationally and regionally are still significantly below their pre-recession levels. “
All regions saw sales increase in 2014, with the biggest increases coming in the East Midlands (26%), West Midlands (25%) and the North West (25%).
The smallest rise was in Greater London (11%), however the capital has recorded the biggest pick-up in sales over the past five years, with a 74% gain between 2009 and 2014.
Compared to 2007 sales are still 19% lower in the South West, 20% lower in East Anglia and 22% lower in the South East.
However they are further off up North, as they are 41% lower in the North, 37% lower in the North West and 35% lower in Yorkshire & Humber.
Hulme added: “There is a clear north versus south pattern to the housing market recovery with sales closer to their 2007 levels in the south.
“Indeed, a small number of towns recorded higher sales last year than seven years earlier, but sales remained much lower than 2007 levels in most areas.”