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House sales improve during 2012

House sales improve during 2012

Category: Mortgages

Updated: 22/01/2013
First Published: 22/01/2013

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The percentage of successfully completed property sales in the UK rose by 5% last year, as activity in the housing market improved.

According to figures released by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), a total of 932,000 house sales were recorded during 2012; up from 885,000 in 2011 and reflecting the highest level since 2007, just prior to the financial crisis taking hold.

The Government's Funding for Lending Scheme (FLS) is widely perceived to be the main reason for the up-turn in activity, as lower mortgage rates and increased lending provide the market with a much-needed boost.

Chief economist at the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), Simon Rubinsohn, said: "What we have had is a decent recovery in the second half of the year, helped by a little more confidence due to the FLS, which has helped give a bit more accessibility to mortgage funds.

"We think there will be a further increase in activity, with the FLS providing further support along with the Government's NewBuy scheme."

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