House hunter numbers rise

There were fresh signs that the UK housing market recovery picked up pace last month according to estate agents, as the number of people actively seeking properties rose to a quarterly high.

Figures from the December 2012 Housing Market Report from the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) revealed a rise in the number of house hunters, reaching an average of 282 per branch. This represents an increase on the three months to December and a high-point for the quarter.

The NAEA’s December’s house hunter numbers are up 41% since their lowest December levels in 2008 (200), and are up 7% on the previous month, November 2012 (263).

Mark Hayward, president of the NAEA, said: “December can typically be a challenging month for the property market, as many buyers abandon their search until the New Year. However, last month’s figures show a healthy December boost, and a substantial gain on the mid-recession low of December 2008”. “Demand is clearly returning to areas of the market, and agents are seeing more house hunters looking for their ideal home.”

“In this climate it’s important that those seeking to buy a home – and particularly first time buyers – have access to affordable mortgage finance. The news this week that Lloyds Banking Group will aim to lend £6.5bn in an effort help 60,000 people buy their first home in 2013 is strongly welcomed by the NAEA.”

The NAEA Housing Market Report also showed that the percentage of sales made to first time buyers saw a slight decrease in December, with agents recording 21% of market share in compared with 22% in November.

The number of sales made by agents fell below the 2012 average with branches recording an average of five sales for the month.

Article courtesy of Property Investor Today

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