House sales up but prices paid remain stable

House sales are up according to official figures
House sales are up according to official figures

Latest figures suggest the housing market is recovering with increasing numbers of people looking to buy a property.

According to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors during July the number of potential buyers looking to enter the market grew at the fastest rate since July 2009.

House prices nationally are also on the up. The latest research from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows that during the year to June 2013 house prices in England rose by 3.3 per cent, with the average house in England now costing £251,000. This falls to £190,000 if you exclude London and the south-east. The average house price in Northamptonshire is £181,234.

Estate agents Sharman Quinney are reporting a huge demand for homes.

The agency, which has a branch in Oundle, said it hadn’t experienced the usual seasonal slowdown. Managing director Mike Sharman said: “Customers are returning with renewed confidence at present, with company sales up by 38 per cent in the first eight months of the year compared to the same period in 2012.

“August is typically recognised as a slow month in the housing market, but we definitely saw a lot more interest from customers this year.”

Mr Sharman said schemes such as the Government’s Funding for Lending and Help to Buy have helped boost the housing market. Official figures show that more than 10,000 people have registered for the Help to Buy scheme since April.

House builders are also more optimistic. Judith Potter, regional deputy managing director for the UK’s leading housebuilder, Persimmon Homes, which hopes to open a new development in Irthlingborough shortly, said: “Nationally we have seen a 15 per cent increase in visitors to our developments.”