15:15 PM, 5th April 2012, About 12 years ago
As property sales fall to their lowest level in three years and threaten to keep on dropping, here’s some research that identifies the remaining property hotspots.
Lloyds Bank tracks property sales in 500 towns and cities across England and Wales – and has revealed that last year, 300 registered a fall in the number of home sales.
This puts home sales at their lowest ebb since 2008 when every town and city recorded a fall.
The bank says 630,389 homes were sold in England and Wales last year, 4% down on 2010 and 48% lower than the peak of the housing market in 2007, when 1,223,826 homes changed hands.
Three of the towns recording the biggest leaps in prices in 2011 were in the West Midlands.
Bilston, near Wolverhampton, topped the table with a house sale surge of 30.7%, while nearby Rugeley, Staffordshire, (30.6%) came a close second and Wednesbury (19.4%) was fifth.
Bootle, Merseyside (21%) was third and Thetford, Norfolk, (18.5%) returned the biggest increase in the South and was the only non-northern town in the top 10.
Eight of the 10 towns with the largest declines in home sales were in the South -Tower Hamlets, East London, had the largest fall (-22%), followed by Potters Bar, Hertfordshire (-20%) and Penzance, Cornwall (-19%).
In 2011, house prices rose by an average of 0.2% in the 10 towns with the biggest drop in property sales, in contrast to a 4.5% fall in house prices among the 10 towns that recorded the biggest rises.
House prices fell by 3.2% in Bilston, but rose 1.8% in Tower Hamlets.
Suren Thiru, Lloyds TSB Housing Economist, said: “Housing market activity across England and Wales weakened over the past year, reflecting the concerns over the outlook for the economy. Consumers are experiencing difficulties in raising the necessary deposit, which is preventing many potential home buyers from entering the market.
“While a number of towns in the North have seen a significant rise in home sales, these increases have been from a historically low base. Generally, property prices in the North continue to be weaker than in the South.”