Second half surge in 2009
While property sales in Britain in 2009 were 6.8% lower than a year earlier, it was very much a year of two halves. The number of properties that changed hands in the first 6 months of last year (273,015) was down 36.9% on 2008 but the second half of 2009 showed a 34.6% surge in sales transactions (421,732) compared to the last half of 2008.
While home values in Britain managed a gain of 2.5% over 2009, average house prices fell 2.2% over the first 6 months of the year (from £205,607 to £201,067) before recovering in the second half by 4.7% to reach an average value of £210,661 by the year end, according to the latest figures form Zoopla.co.uk. One of the biggest factors in the house price rebound in the second half of last year was the recovery in market activity with increased transaction volumes leading to higher property prices.
Transaction volumes were particularly strong in the fourth quarter of 2009, up by double-digits in all regions compared to 2008 with the exception of Scotland where sales levels have been slow to recover and were up only 8% in Q4 09 versus the previous year and were down 33% for the full year 2009, compared to a decline of only 1% in England and 12% in Wales.
Nicholas Leeming, commercial director of Zoopla.co.uk, commented: “2009 was a tale of two halves for the UK property market. The first half of the year was pretty poor coming off a year of transaction volumes at historic lows. The second half of the year was a different story as sales started to bounce back strongly, particularly in the south where buyers returned to the market as prices became tempting and to take advantage of the stamp duty holiday.”