Signs of revival in house market
Thursday 11 March 1999
Countrywide Assured, a listed estate agent and surveyor with 750 branches, said it had recorded the biggest number of new sales in February since its business first took shape in 1994.
Mike Nower, finance director, said: "We're now optimistic to bullish, and business has been very good. There is a lot of activity, a lot of offers and our surveyors are very busy indeed."
Business at Countrywide's conveyancing division has already doubled on the same period last year, to more than 1,000 instructions every week.
The pick-up contrasts with Countrywide's results for 1998, which showed profits edging up by 7 per cent but earnings falling. The shares rose 9 per cent to 137p, valuing the firm at pounds 455m.
Results from surveyors and estate agents are often a leading indicator of the housing market's fortunes because they arrive ahead of data on mortgages and house prices.
Last week the Housebuilders' Federation produced a report showing the strongest demand for new houses since July 1997.
Steve Bell, an economist at Deutsche Bank, said: "I think we are going to get a strong market in the next few months. It's benefiting from low fixed-rate mortgages. What is harder to say is whether it will be sustained: many people are still afraid of losing their jobs."
- 4 Alex Salmond: 'The rocks would melt with the sun before I'd ever set foot in the House of Lords'
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Plebgate MP Andrew Mitchell called officer a 'little s**t', claim court documents 'exposing ex-Chief Whip's 'record of abusing police'
Hilary Mantel 'should be investigated by police' over Margaret Thatcher assassination story, says Lord Bell
Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God
iJobs Money & Business
£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: **URGENT CONTRACT ROLE**...
Up to £100k or £450p/d: Saxton Leigh: My client is a leading commodities tradi...
£320 - £330 per day: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group have been engaged by a l...
To £75,000 + Pension + Benefits + Bonus: Saxton Leigh: My client is looking f...