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Surprise summer rise in house sales

Surprise summer rise in house sales

Category: Mortgages

Updated: 23/09/2011
First Published: 23/09/2011

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 It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

The housing market defied the odds this summer, with estate agents reporting an increase in sales during the traditionally quiet month of August.

According to the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA), the average agent sold eight properties per branch, up from seven in July and a year ago.

Meanwhile, potential buyers also started to show renewed interest as demand figures reached a four year high.

On average the number of people registering to look for homes rose from 299 in July to 304 last month.

Elsewhere amongst the data it was revealed that the level of unsold properties on agents' books dropped from 70 to 65, with many of the sales that arose being three to four bedroom properties.

Commenting on the figures, Wendy Evans-Scott, NAEA president, said the summer appeared to have witnessed the return of the so-called 'serious seller' – vendors who price their property realistically because they really want to sell.

"Although supply levels dropped slightly, the number of sales made held strong, suggesting that those sellers that have remained in the market are pricing their homes sensibly," she added.

"The increase in the number of family homes sold demonstrates that it is those that have to move because they need more space that are in the market.

"Accordingly, there are fewer speculative sellers out there, who inflate prices and are not committed to a sale."

However, the figures also highlighted the increasing pressure on first time buyers attempting to enter the market.

The percentage of sales to those trying to get on the property ladder decreased from 21% to 20% between July and August.

Earlier this week, revealed how the number of mortgage deals available to homebuyers had reached their highest level in more than three and a half years.

Amongst the research it was revealed that borrowers with a 10% deposit or less currently have the choice of 325 products, up from the 75 that were available in April 2009, but still well down on the 1,258 products that were on offer in February 2008.

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