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Residential sales in the UK in the first 10 months of 2014 were 21% higher than in the same period in 2013 with over three quarters of a million property sales recorded, new research shows. This was the highest for this period since 2007 with the numbers of sales in England and Wales during January through to October 2014 totalling 760,000, according to the research by Lloyds Bank. It also shows that there has been a considerable improvement in sales since the market reached the depth of its recession in 2009. Sales in the first 10 months of 2014 were 60% higher than in the same period in 2009. However, sales remained 27% below the levels achieved at the height of the boom in 2007. Daventry in Northamptonshire experienced the biggest rise in home sales, up by 56%, but all regions saw a rise in sales in 2014. The biggest increases compared with 2013 was 26% in the East Midlands, 25% in the West Midlands and 25% in the North West. The smallest rise was 11% in Greater London. However, London recorded the biggest pick-up in sales over the past five years as a whole with a 74% gain between 2009 and 2014. All regions have seen rises of at least 50% over this period with the smallest rises in East Anglia at 51%, the North at 52% and the South West also at 52%. Sales in all regions, however, remain lower than 2007 levels with transactions in the northern regions furthest below. The North is down 41%, the North West down 37%, and Yorkshire and Humber down 35%. The strongest recoveries have been in southern England with the South West down 19%, East Anglia down 20% and the South East down 22%. The overwhelming majority of towns in this survey, some 97%, saw an increase in sales between 2013 and 2014. The majority of regions recorded an increase in all towns. London, however, experienced a decline in sales in a fifth of its boroughs. In contrast, all towns in the country saw a decline in sales in 2008. ‘The recovery in the housing market continued in 2014 with sales rising further in almost all areas of the country. Low interest rates, improvements in the UK economy and government schemes, such as Help to Buy, all appear to have contributed to the rise in home sales. Despite these improvements, sales both nationally and regionally are still significantly below their pre-recession levels,’ said Andy Hulme, mortgages director at Lloyds Bank. ‘There is a clear north versus south pattern to the housing market recovery with sales closer to their 2007 levels in the south. Indeed, a small number of towns recorded higher sales last year than seven years earlier, but sales remained much lower than 2007 levels in most areas,’ he added. A breakdown of the figures shows that four towns recorded a 50% or more increase in sales between 2013 and… Continue reading →
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