Strong January for property market
Tuesday 21 February 2012
Home sales have had their strongest start to the year since January 2008, official figures showed today.
Some 64,000 homes were sold in the UK in January 2012, figures from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) showed, the highest figure for the first month of the year since January 2008, when 79,000 transactions were recorded.
This compares with 52,000 sales in January 2011 and follows reports of a surprisingly high "spring bounce" seen in asking prices this year.
The end to the two-year stamp duty holiday for first-time buyers next month has been a strong influence on recent activity in the market, according to lenders.
Mortgage lending was 10% higher than a year ago in January as those getting their first foot on the property ladder rushed to complete deals, the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) reported yesterday.
The CML said its year-on-year figures improved for the sixth month in a row after its members lent £10.5 billion during the month.
It believes the March 24 deadline for the end of the stamp duty-free period for first-time buyers on properties under £250,000 has boosted activity.
Some property websites have also reported "record" searches in January, which they also put down to buyers undertaking more thorough research in the hope of grabbing a winter bargain.
However, the market still experienced its traditional dip at the start of this year and sales were down on the 86,000 recorded in December 2011.
Transactions remain at around half the levels seen before the effects of the financial crisis hit and compare with 115,000 sales recorded in January 2007.
Sale numbers are predicted to remain low this year, with lenders expected to tighten their borrowing conditions for would-be buyers, although it has been suggested that the lack of new homes coming to market will help to keep prices up.
- 2 Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
Rowan Atkinson to sell £10 million McLaren 'supercar' he crashed into a tree and a lamppost
UK weather: Snow to fall in the coming week with sub-zero temperatures to last until early February
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Warriors in ancient Iraq suffered Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder more than 3,000 years ago, say researchers
US blames Russia after rocket attacks in Ukraine kill at least 30
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
George Galloway condemns 'racist, Islamophobic, hypocritical rag' Charlie Hebdo at freedom of speech rally
Islamic history is full of free thinkers - but recent attempts to suppress critical thought are verging on the absurd
Excellent Salary : Austen Lloyd: OXFORD - REGIONAL FIRM - An excellent opportu...
Super Package: Austen Lloyd: BRISTOL - SENIOR CLINICAL NEGLIGENCE - An outstan...
£15000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Fantastic opportunities are ava...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Compute Engineer is required to join a globa...