Hometrack: agreed house sales up 25%
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by Gill Montia
Demand for housing jumped by 14.7% in February, the first increase for eight months, according to new figures from Hometrack, which also show the supply of homes for sale rising 7.5%, compared with January, the highest monthly increase for three years.
A mix of seasonal and pent-up demand resulted in estate agents reporting a 25% rise in sales agreed during February, which should reduce the supply of homes for sale in the months ahead, supporting pricing levels.
The housing intelligence firm suggests: “A decline in the supply of homes for sale over the last six months together with a modest re-pricing of housing has created an environment where sales are progressing between willing buyers and sellers.”
While average prices fell by -0.2% in February, the monthly decline was at its lowest for six months and lower prices were reported across just 26% of the country, compared to 37% in January and 57% in October 2010.
Meanwhile, prices rose across 4.8% of the country last month, and the proportion of asking price achieved increased for the first time in 12 months, to 92.4%, up from 91.9% in January.
In addition, the time taken to sell a property fell to 10 weeks, down from 10.2 weeks in January 2011.
The strongest market conditions were seen in the South and Hometrack notes a growing gap in the time on the market between the Southern regions (8.6 weeks) and Northern regions (12.1 weeks).
Earlier this week, Nationwide reported a monthly increase of 0.3% in UK house prices, the value of the typical home having dipped by 0.1% during January.
The annual rate of decline improved slightly to minus 0.1% (January: minus 0.4%)
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