House hunters bucked the traditional holiday trend in July, as estate agents reported a surge in buyer enquiries.
Figures show that there was a sharp increase in the number of house-hunters registering at National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) branches across the UK during the month.
While there is some regional fluctuation, on average agents reported 299 people on their books for the month, up from 263 in June and the highest figure in over two years (May 2009; 299).
Supply levels across the country decreased slightly with NAEA agents reporting 70 properties available per branch, down from 74 in June. This is still higher than year-on-year figures where in July 2010, only 68 were recorded.
As is usual for this time of year, sales dropped slightly from an average of 9% to 7%. However, the proportion of sales made to first time buyers increased from 20% in June to 21% in July.
"It is great to see that interest in property has reached a two year high, especially at a time when, traditionally, estate agents experience a lull in activity as people take a holiday abroad instead of house hunting," NAEA president Wendy Evans-Scott said.
"It seems that people are beginning to reconsider their options when it comes to buying a property. With many sellers now being more realistic about pricing, we hope the market will rejuvenate in the coming months."
Estate agents and homeowners looking to sell their property will hope that an upturn in enquiries will filter through into actual sales.
Figures released yesterday by the Council of Mortgage Lenders showed that the amount of mortgage lending remained subdued in the second quarter of the year, and has fallen by 6% over the last 12 months.
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