Hometrack reports that home sales have improved in the United Kingdom (UK) and are being driven by a seasonal uptick in transaction volume. February was also a month of price increases for the country, although experts say much of the growth was due to gains focused in London and the South East. These particular areas are surging due to lack of supply and growing demand and analysts believe that a high stamp duty will discourage sales and so drive up prices as demand continues to increase. For more on this continue reading the following article from Property Wire.
London and the South East of England are driving the UK residential market forward as the majority of markets registering price rises in February where in these regions.
The latest data from Hometrack shows that while across the country 14.8% of postcodes registered price rises, some 74% of these were in London and the South East.
The data also shows that while 8% of postcodes saw prices fall headline prices grew by 0.1%, the first time values have grown since May 2012.
The firms says the statistics are evidence of a seasonal upturn in sales agreed, demand and an increase in the supply of homes for sale.
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London and the Home Counties are the drivers of house price growth while prices are under downward pressure in northern regions.
Some 48% of London postcodes registered an increase in values over the month. In the South East 26% of postcodes registered price rises.
New buyers registering with agents over February increased by 14%, a level consistent with previous years and the firm also said that the number of new properties coming to the market rose by 8.7%, albeit off a low base.
‘Lack of supply and rising demand, means that prices in those areas where there is the greatest mismatch between buyers and sellers are seeing the strongest price growth,’ said a spokesman.
‘Looking ahead to spring we expect both demand and supply to grow. However higher stamp duty costs in Southern England will remain a disincentive to sell, creating scarcity and a support to headline prices,’ he added.
The data also showed that the proportion of the asking price achieved has moved up to 93.4% and the time on the market has fallen back to 9.7 weeks but there are some major regional variations.
Overall the balance between supply and demand leads underlying house price changes by three months. The improved balance over the first half of 2011 led to an improvement in the underlying rate of growth.
This article was republished with permission from Property Wire.