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Property sales hold steady

Property sales hold steady

Category: Economy

Updated: 23/08/2011
First Published: 23/08/2011

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

House sales remained steady in July but were still down on the number sold 12 months earlier.

The latest data from HM Revenue and Customs showed around 79,000 homes were sold last month, the same number as in June, and the highest seen so far in 2011.

However, the figure was 11% lower than in July last year, when 89,000 properties were sold.

By way of further comparison, monthly sales reached as high as 162,000 at the height of the property boom in the summer of 2007.

David Brown, commercial director of LSL Property Services, said despite falling year on year, transactions were up by 16% since April.

"It shows the impact that the expected continuation in ultra-low interest rates is having on mortgage lenders' confidence," he added.

"Our regional transactions measure shows increasing transactions all over the UK , with the highest increases in areas where house prices have fallen over the last 12 months.

"It's too early to say the property market is about to turn the corner, but thanks to the Monetary Policy Committee's bold stance on rates, mortgage affordability is giving would-be buyers an improving chance of making a purchase."

In its half yearly results, the housebuilder Persimmon said that while the UK housing market remains stable, it expects the environment to continue to be challenging due to the overall economic situation.

The firm sold 4,939 properties in the first six months of the year, 5% fewer than in the same period in 2010.

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