Housing Market Showing Signs of Steady Improvement

The UK housing market showed signs of continued improvement during March according to the latest figures from the Agency Express Property Activity Index. Month-on-month data for March 2012 shows that nationwide residential property sales increased by 5.2%, whilst new ‘for sale’ listings also rose by 10.5% compared to February. Despite this, data for both categories shows that there is some catching up to do against March 2011, with sold properties still down by 8% and new listings down by 7.8%.

Of the 12 UK regions covered within the Index, some of the more buoyant and consistent results came from the North East region – new listings up by 31.7%, sales up 79.2%, Yorkshire & Humberside – new listings up 28.2%, sales up 29.3%, and the East Midlands – new listings up by 20.2%, sales up 22%. By comparison, new listings in the London area were up by 13.2%, with actual sales up by 0.2%.

When it came to new ‘for sale’ listings for individual towns and cities, compared to February, March saw Milton Keynes leading the way with a rise of 20.2%, followed by Edinburgh – up by 15.5%, Oxford – up by 13.9% and Carlisle – up by 13.7%. The places with the highest increases in residential property sales for March were Southampton – up 59%, Exeter – up by 54.8%, plus Coventry and Leicester which were both up by 12.5%.

Commenting on the latest Index results, Stephen Watson, Managing Director, Agency Express, said: “Our Index figures for March show a steady move in the right direction for both new listings and sold properties. The early mild weather and relatively low interest rates seem to have helped the housing market in most regions and it will be interesting to see if the trend continues at an accelerated pace as we enter into what is traditionally the busiest period for property activity.”


Monthly % Changes for March 2012

% Changes for Jan - March 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
Mar 12 Mar 11 Mar 12 Mar 11
NATIONAL 10.5 24.9 5.2 22.9
Central England 2.6 15.9 -2.1 22.2
East Anglia 8.3 16.9 10.5 18.7
East Midlands 20.2 19.8 22 47.8
London 13.2 39.1 0.2 37.3
North East 31.7 -0.8 79.2 36.4
North West 14.9 37.4 11.6 18.7
Scotland 8.6 42.4 -5.9 19
South East 2.4 26.6 7.2 16.9
South West 2.7 20.4 -12.9 17
Wales 9.4 17.5 -30.1 3.7
West Midlands 0.7 18.5 -6.1 23.9
Yorks & Humber 28.2 25.8 29.3 32.2
New Listings Properties Sold
Jan -
Apr 12
Jan -
Mar 11
Jan -
Mar 12
Jan -
Mar 11
NATIONAL 24.9 31.8 12.6 18.9
Central England 9.1 27.1 10.1 19.3
East Anglia 25.2 25.3 13.2 16
East Midlands 23.7 36.5 15.1 23.2
London 23.9 33.6 11.6 27.8
North East 33 32.2 25.5 20.8
North West 29.3 36.3 16.7 15.6
Scotland 23.5 43.7 10.9 22.5
South East 28.1 32.3 18.8 20.2
South West 24.3 28.4 6.7 10
Wales 27 31.2 -6.5 7.4
West Midlands 26.2 30.7 8.7 18
Yorks & Humber 29.8 34.2 22.6 29.6
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