Thursday, 3 March 2011 3:59 PM
Demand for housing increased in Britain for the first time since July 2010 last month, after a mix of pent-up and seasonal demand fed into the market following a weak second half to last year.
According to the latest National Housing Survey by Hometrack, UK housing demand jumped by 14.7 per cent in February – the first monthly rise since last July.
The supply of homes for sale also increased by 7.5 per cent, the biggest 30-day improvement for three years.
It is thought that decline in supply of properties for sale in recent months coupled with modest price changes has created an environment where sales are beginning to pick up between willing buyers and sellers.
However, the Hometrack report suggested that southern England saw the strongest market conditions, with a widening gap noted between the north and south – particularly in terms of how long homes are on the market before selling.
In southern regions, the average property goes unsold for 8.6 weeks, while further north, homes typically take 12.1 weeks to sell, reflecting the uneven geographical balance of supply and demand.
Richard Donnell, director of research at Hometrack, commented: "Weak market conditions over late 2010 did bring some benefits, not least a rapid tightening in supply and a modest re-correction in pricing levels.
"While the number of new homes coming to the market has grown by seven per cent over February, the 25 per cent increase in sales agreed will further erode supply and support the continued decline in the rate of price falls.
"This in turn will lead to improved price stability in the short term. Lower price falls will be sustained if demand for housing continues to grow in the coming months and February’s increase proves to be more than a seasonal blip," he added.
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