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Annual Housing Transactions Reach One Million


A report from Halifax has suggested that the housing market is continuing to exhibit an upward trend, as transactions in 2013 reached one million for the first time since the financial crisis in 2007.

Home sales rose for the ninth consecutive month in December to 103,040, which is 30% higher than in December 2012. Additionally, the number of mortgage approvals, which is a key factor in indicating the number of house sales rose by 9% in the three months to December, 30% higher than in December 2012.

The report also showed that house prices for the last three months had also risen by 1.9% in comparison to the preceding three months, whilst the prices in the three months to January 2014 were also 7.3% higher than the same period in 2012/13.

One factor that has put an upward pressure on house prices is a lack of supply coming onto the market, as the number of homeowners putting their house on the market only increased marginally towards the end of 2013, despite new buyer enquiries increasing more significantly.

Martin Ellis, housing economist commented on the report by stating: "With the supply of properties being slow to respond to more buoyant market conditions, stronger demand has resulted in continued upward pressure on house prices. Demand has increased against a background of low interest rates and higher consumer confidence underpinned by signs that the economy is recovering and unemployment falling faster than expected. Official schemes, such as Help to Buy, also appear to have boosted housing demand. However, continuing pressures on household finances, as earnings fail to keep pace with consumer price inflation, are expected to remain a constraint on the rate of growth of house prices."

Nicholas Ayre, managing director of the homebuying agency Home Fusion was buoyant from the results, referencing the one million transactions barrier as a significant milestone: "We have broken through the one million transaction threshold for the first time since 2007, which we always see as the darkest days and has come to represent our reference point when everything went horribly wrong. We are moving way beyond that now.”

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