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Housing Market

Is it the recovery? House sales rise by 6.8% year-on-year during March

Government figures suggest that a continuing boom in first time buyer activity is helping drive up the number of transactions.

Nigel Lewis

The UK housing market made an unexpected recovery in March during which the number of homes sold increased by 6.8% compared to the same month last year.
March is traditionally a good time for sales, usually trumping the first two months of the year. But the sharp month-on-month rise has surprised market watchers.

“It is positive to see house prices have risen quite significantly and [are] up on last year, which could indicate that the market is starting to recover slightly,” says Neil Knight, Business Development Director of Spicerhaart Part Exchange & Assisted Move.

The figures are both provisional and seasonally adjusted but suggest that 101,830 homes were sold during March.

Neil Knight, Spicehaart, imageKnight (left) also claims that first time buyers are still dominating the market.

Trade body UK Finance last week revealed that the number of completed first-time buyer mortgages increased by a fifth month in a row during March, up by 4.1% on 2018. This compares to a 0.1% rise in the number of home mover mortgages completed in the same period.

These figures also suggest that slowing house prices particularly in London and the South of England are making property more affordable for first time buyers, further spurring on more people to get on the property ladder.

House prices

Zoopla has today revealed to what extent London’s softening house prices are spreading south.

Its figures reveal that in all six cities covered by the Zoopla index in southern England, outside London, recorded the lowest growth rates since 2013 ranging from -0.6% in Oxford to +2.2% in Bristol.

April 25, 2019

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