Housing market sees two-year high in sold properties

The UK housing market is showing continued signs of recovery at the start of 2012 according to the latest figures from the Agency Express Property Activity Index. Month-on-month data for February 2012 shows that nationwide residential property sales increased by 42.9% - the highest monthly increase since February 2010. New ‘For Sale’ listings also continued to show an increase, growing by 18.5% compared to January. Additionally, data for both properties ‘sold’ and new ‘for sale’ listings showed modest increases of 7.7% and 4.2% respectively against February 2011.

Of the 12 UK regions covered within the Index all saw double-digit growth in new ‘for sale’ listings for February 2012 compared to January, with the exception of the Central England with only 1.3% increase. Regional hot spots included the West Midlands, up by +36.4%, the North East – up +27.6%, Scotland – up +27%, and the South East – up by +26.6%. Scotland and the West Midlands were also amongst the highest performing areas compared with this time last year, with increases of +22.7% and +9.4% for new listings, the first and third highest in the UK.

Regional figures for actual ‘sold’ figures reflected the national buoyancy with widespread month-on-month increases in February, the star-performers being the West Midlands again with a +61.6% increase, Scotland with +60.1%, the North West – up by +56.4% and London – up +52.4%. Even those regions at the other end of the table did far better than in January, with sales increases of +35.4% for Yorkshire, +25.6% for Wales, +20% for the North East and +16.9% for the East Midlands.

When it came to new ‘for sale’ listings for individual cities, compared to January, February 2012 saw Coventry in top place, with a +258.8% increase, York next with +76.3%, followed by Colchester – up by +40.3%. The best cities in February for house sales were Oxford – with an increase of +135%, Glasgow with +95.2% and Birmingham – up by +79%.

Commenting on the latest Index results, Stephen Watson, Managing Director, Agency Express, said: “Our Index figures for February show a very encouraging consolidation of the housing market virtually nationwide. A combination of relatively low interest rates, more affordable property prices and the stamp duty incentives pre-March for first time buyers, coupled with the early mild weather, has obviously put the thought of moving house back into people’s minds.”

 

Monthly % Changes for February 2012

% Changes for Dec - February 2012

New Listings
% Change over last 12 months vs Previous 12 months

Properties Sold
% Change over last 12 months vs Previous 12 months

New Listings Properties Sold
Feb 12 Feb 11 Feb 12 Feb 11
NATIONAL 18.5 27.6 42.9 38.3
Central England 1.3 6.9 51.6 38.2
East Anglia 17.5 12.1 36.6 28.8
East Midlands 14.1 48 16.9 25.5
London 13.1 21.1 52.4 61.4
North East 27.6 44.4 20 15.1
North West 17.8 25.3 56.4 52.3
Scotland 27 64.2 60.1 62.1
South East 26.6 28.8 39.1 43.1
South West 10.9 23.2 43 30.4
Wales 21.7 47.8 25.6 28.1
West Midlands 36.4 47.5 61.6 43.4
Yorks & Humber 25.1 33 35.4 34
New Listings Properties Sold
Dec -
Apr 12
Dec -
Feb 11
Dec -
Feb 12
Dec -
Feb 11
NATIONAL 11 5.5 1 -1.3
Central England 10.4 6.8 4.2 3
East Anglia 9 3.4 -1.8 -1.4
East Midlands 8 5.3 -4.9 -7.3
London 4 3.1 5.9 2.9
North East 13.4 18.1 -12.2 2.7
North West 10.1 4.2 -0.4 -3.1
Scotland 12.3 -0.1 2.1 -2.7
South East 13.5 5.4 -2 0.4
South West 15.9 7.2 2.2 -6
Wales 12.6 10.9 4 -1.4
West Midlands 13.5 11.4 2 -3.4
Yorks & Humber 14.7 8.3 6.1 1.8
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