15:39 PM, 17th March 2011, About 12 years ago
The housing market has perked up as estate agents report more homes for sale and a jump in the number of hopeful buyers.
The National Association of Estate Agent’s (NAEA) latest market survey shows the number of homes for sale in February was 25% up on the same period last year.
Estate agents also revealed the number of house hunters registering rose to 268 per branch from 252 in January – the highest level for seven months.
NAEA president Michael Jones said: “To see such a significant boost in activity amongst sellers compared with this time last year is encouraging news for the UK property market.
‘The signs are that they are being more realistic about the price they can expect to achieve when they put their house on the market. This means that, on the whole, supply can meet demand levels, meaning a more stable market, for the short term at least.
Interest rate worries and cuts affecting the market
“However, the picture is still very variable across the UK with agents reporting much higher growth in enquiries and stock availability in some regions than others. Undoubtedly, broader economic constraints on spending continue to impact on consumer confidence, especially at a first time buyer level, and the effect of the public sector cuts has yet to be fully felt.
“With limited mortgage availability and the concern about a likely rise in interest rates still putting off many of the people who otherwise would be looking to buy, it is important that the government does everything it can to encourage growth at this crucial stage of the recovery process.”
The number of first time buyers also increased slightly from 24% of home hunters per branch in January to 25% in February.
The NAEA figures are compiled from 10,000 estate agent branches across the UK.
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