Rise in house sales in March

Nia Williams

April 1, 2011

March saw a second consecutive monthly rise in the number of houses ‘Sold’ and it was the third consecutive month that there has been a month-on-month rise in the number of new ‘For Sale’ listings.

Monthly house sales were up 23.2% in March following February’s rise of 38.3%. Sales reached their highest level since May last year and were 4.8% up on March 2010 and 10.2% up on March 2009. Each region saw an increase in sales ranging from a 47.8% rise in the East Midlands to 3.7% in Wales. Greater London sales rose 37.3%, in the North East they were up 36.4% and Yorkshire saw a rise of 32.2%.

Southampton more than doubled the amount of house sales it achieved in February with a 127.6% rise. Colchester’s sales went up 58.8%, Nottingham saw a rise of 56.8% and in Leeds they were up 41.9%. At the other end of the scale, Norwich was the only city in the UK to see a decline in sales with a dramatic fall of -21.9%.

There was also a boost to the supply of properties on the market. The number of properties that were put up ‘For Sale’ in March in the UK was up 25.0%, the highest level achieved since August 2010. This is also 6.4% higher than March 2010 and 47.7% higher than 2009.

All regions bar one saw improvements in new ‘For Sale’ listings. Scotland saw a rise of 42.4% followed by Greater London at 39.1%, the North West at 37.4% and the South East at 26.6%. The North East was the only region to see a fall with the number of new For Sale listing dropping -0.8%.

Commenting on the latest Index results, Stephen Watson, managing director, Agency Express, said: “This latest set of data paints an encouraging picture for the housing sector. Not only has there been a significant uplift in new ‘For Sale’ listings and house sales but the trend over the last two or three months indicates that this might be sustainable.

“ It’s also noticeable that London is showing very strong growth in both the number of properties being put on the market and the number of sales that are going through. Traditionally this has then radiated out into the rest of the regions in following months. As all regions are looking in better health already, it bodes well for the coming months.”

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