Sellers returning to the property market

House for sale sign

The number of people putting their homes up for sale has risen by 25% in the last year, according to recent statistics.

The National Association of Estate Agents' latest report shows a quarter rise in the level of available housing stock in February 2011 compared with 12 months ago.

The number of potential buyers has also increased with 268 reported per any estate agent branch in February compared with 252 in January - the highest level for seven months.

Sales also increased in February. The report says estate agents have seen a growth from an average of six sales per branch each month to an average of eight. A quarter of all sales were to first-time buyers.

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The property market has been stagnant of late with sellers concerned about having to lower their asking price and buyers worried about the possibility of rising interest rates.

NAEA President Michael Jones says the figures suggest sellers are being more realistic about the price they can expect to achieve when they put their house on the market meaning that supply can meet demand levels for the short term at least.

Jones says: "To see such a significant boost in activity amongst sellers compared with this time last year is encouraging news for the UK property market.

"However, the picture is still very variable across the UK with agents reporting much higher growth in enquiries and stock availability in some regions than others."

He adds: "Undoubtedly, broader economic constraints on spending continue to impact on consumer confidence, especially at a first-time buyer level, and the effect of the public sector cuts has yet to be fully felt.

"With limited mortgage availability and the concern about a likely rise in interest rates still putting off many of the people who otherwise would be looking to buy, it is important that the government does everything it can to encourage growth at this crucial stage of the recovery process."

Your Comments

Looks like people have been waiting too long trying to see what will happen in general and have realised that they will have to lower their expectations and possibly accept a lower price in order to make a sale at all.

I don't think a rise of 25% is very significant when the overall volumes are so low but at least it shows a trend in the right direction for those concenred by the potential for stagnation.

Personally I cant see much changing this year.