The housing market in England and Wales is enjoying the largest increase in activity it has seen for over a decade.
Property sales have seen an annual increase of 21% for the six months from March to September 2013, according to research carried out by Lloyds Bank.
This increase, seeing the total number of sales hit 396,756, is the highest year-on-year increase seen for ten years, with transactions at their highest level since the downturn in 2007. However, taking a look back to 2006 saw sales at 673,699, demonstrating the market still has some way to go to reach previous peak levels.
All regions saw a marked annual increase in sales with the North West and East Midlands enjoying a 23% rise in activity and the lowest being in the North East at a still impressive 19%. Over 100,000 of the sales recorded can be attributed to the property hotspot of the South East.
When looking at individual towns, the survey recorded 98% of those spotlighted seeing a rise in sales – this is a dramatic increase from 26% in the same six months a year earlier. Four regions - the North, West Midlands, Wales and London – saw an increase in 100% of the towns surveyed.
Marc Page, mortgages director at Lloyds Bank, said: "Since spring 2013 housing activity in England and Wales has been on the rise, with home sales in the six months to September up by over a fifth compared to the same period a year earlier. This increase is the strongest on this basis in over a decade. In addition, the number of towns in the survey recording an increase in transactions has grown over three times compared to the same period in 2012.
"Low interest rates, improvements in consumer confidence and Government schemes, such as Help to Buy, all appear to have contributed to the rise in home sales."
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