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Property sales rocket in October

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Housing market transactions rocketed during October, according to data released by LSL Property Services.
Property sales rocket in October

Over 65,000 properties were sold during the month, a huge rise of 24% compared to the September levels.

LSL said that transactions typically rise 2% between September and October, and attributed the jump to the market ‘catching up’ with sales missed during the sport-filled summer.

Transactions are also well down on historic levels, with 2012’s figure around half the 126,775 transactions recorded in October 2003.

The average house price across England and Wales at the end of October reached £225,954, up on the previous month but down on figures recorded over the summer.

The survey found that prices in Greater London, South East, North, East Anglia and the South West have grown year-on-year while the West Midlands, Yorkshire and Humberside, East Midlands, Wales and the North West have seen house prices fall in the last 12 months.

Richard Sexton, director of e.surv, commented: “There were welcome signs of life in October’s housing market as house prices rose on a monthly basis for the first time since May and transactions jumped up to their second highest level in over two years.

“Although the number of borrowers able to secure a mortgage remains far from healthy by historic standards, lenders are starting to pass along cheaper finance provided by the Funding for Lending scheme.

“While we are likely to see the scheme play an increasingly prominent role in coming months, the capital banks are required to set aside for each higher risk loan is likely to act as a drag on high LTV lending, a factor which may prevent a return to anything like the number of first-time buyers in the market before the initial credit crunch in the foreseeable future.

“Nevertheless, any future easing of borrowing conditions will be welcomed with open arms by prospective buyers who are looking to leave increasingly expensive rented accommodation.

“It is crucial that lenders redouble their efforts to boost the amount of cheaper funds reaching the lower end of the housing market, and loosening cautious criteria would go some way towards preventing October’s improvement in buyer activity from being a flash in the pan.”


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