Housing sales increase but market remains ‘sluggish’

The number of property sales dramatically increased last month by a massive 4.5%, according to new statistics. However, many Brits still feel that prices are still too high.

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The latest survey by e.surv, the chartered surveyors group, found that frozen interest rates and relaxed lenders helped the surge in property sales significantly last month.

First time buyers and buy-to-let landlords have found it easier to get a mortgage loan for the first time since December 2009, the research suggests.

Richard Sexton, director of e.surv said; “The market is thus far showing resilience in the face of the eurozone crisis. For the last few months, the banks have been focusing their lending on buy-to-let investors, but this is the first time they appear to have increased lending to first time buyers.

“This has resulted in the loosest mortgage lending conditions seen since the Lehman Brothers collapse,” he continued.

“More first time buyers are rolling up their sleeves and piecing together the bigger deposits required to access high loan-to-value mortgages. No doubt they are sick of paying astronomically high rents.”

The fluidity in the housing market may have also been helped by high levels of inflation. With inflation running at 5%, the ‘real’ value of properties is decreasing all the time.

According to the Building Society Association, more than one in five mortgages are going to first time buyers. However, despite the positive movement in the housing market, prices are still around five times bigger than the average income.

“House prices have remained surprisingly resilient in recent months, despite the deterioration in the economic outlook, “said Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s Chief Economist.

“But, with the UK economic recovery expected to remain sluggish well into 2012, house price growth is likely to remain soft, with prices moving sideways or drifting modestly lower over the next twelve months.”

Posted by: Nicola Severn Categories: Buying, Property News Tags: , Comments Off on Housing sales increase but market remains ‘sluggish’

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