Highest Level of Property Sales in Six Years Recorded

10th April 2014 posted in Property News

Highest Level of Property Sales in Six Years Recorded

No longer are rapidly increasing house prices only to be found in London, now the whole country is seeing a property boom, with buyers queuing up to find the house of their dreams.

The property market has recorded the highest levels in sales in over six years, just from the first three months of 2014. The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) said that although the surge in sales seemed positive, it could have some side affects.

In the first three months of 2014, surveyors sold an average of 22.7 homes each, which is the highest figure recorded since February 2008, and for once this wasn’t just in the capital, sales have increased right across the county.

Simon Rubinsohn, a Rics economist, said the house boom could have a negative effect on those looking to get on the property ladder for the first time. Due to a shortage is housing it will put the dream of home ownership at a greater distance than ever for some:

"We desperately need more homes in areas where people want to buy and want to live. Until this happens we're likely to see prices to continue to increase and it is going to be ever harder for many first time buyers to conceive of ever owning their own home."

The number of homes coming onto the market has gradually decreased since the start of January, while the number of people looking to buy has continued to increase thanks to schemes such as Help to Buy.

The report found that 57% of surveyors reported an increase in house prices, rather than a drop in prices. Outside of the capital and the southeast of England, the places to see the highest increases were the southwest and the midlands.

Only last week, Nationwide reported that there had been an 18% increase in house prices in London over the past 12 months, with prices in London and the southeast still at least 9% higher than anywhere else in England.

Rics have now pushed up their forecast for house price growth across the country, from 6% to 8%, with the majority of surveyors now expecting a positive price increase across the East Midlands and North West. Five years ago house prices were down at £194,000 according to the Office for National Statistics, but they are now up to an average of £254,000, with the average London house costing £458,000.

It was announced on Wednesday that the Liberal Democrats were revising plans for their controversial mansion tax, where homes worth more than £2 million will have a charge placed on them. Originally, all properties worth more than £2 million would see a one per cent surcharge placed on them, but this has now changed so that the tax will be placed under bands in order to “safeguard” elderly homeowners who may have high assets but low incomes.

With no signs of the demand and supply imbalance across the housing market improving, experts say house prices are likely to continue to rise for the rest of the spring and summer months across the whole country.