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Demand for housing continues to rise

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The housing market has entered the summer months in a far stronger position than 12 months ago, according to a new report by the National Association of Estate Agents Housing Market (NAEA).

The research shows an increase in the number of house hunters in the market. The number of house hunters registered with estate agents increased from 192 in July 2008 to 292 in July this year.

After dipping slightly in June the number of people searching for property rose again in July. The past three months as a whole represent the largest three-month demand in property since September-November 2007 and could represent the fact that people believe lower house prices can deliver a bargain but also that they consider the market to have bottomed out.

“Prices are gently on the rise as demand outstrips supply especially in the first time buyer end of the market,” says Martyn Gerrard, chairman of the London NAEA branch. “Building society surveyors have appreciated the situation and are no longer down valuing for mortgage purposes although the increased demand for funding has meant that the time taken from application to offer is often several weeks.”

NAEA say that relative to last year’s low, this year’s figures may still be taken as a positive indicator and further evidence that the market is moving towards recovery.

“July has seen recovery in the housing market continue, but it is still a very sensitive recovery,” says Ricardo Copus, chairman of Devon NAEA branch. “Assuming no national or international disasters occurring before the end of the year, the percentage of transactions should continue to increase slowly.

As seasonal activity picks up after the summer holidays and buyers make their way through the system, NAEA predict that the number of properties available for sale will increase.

“We certainly have a “feel good” factor at the moment and any time you year estate agents whingeing about “lack of stock” the market must be good,” says Des Rowson, chairman of the Essex NAEA branch. “The shortage of properties coming on the market means prices are beginning to edge upwards in most areas.”

Published in the Financial Times

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Written by Magda M Ali

December 17, 2009 at 9:14 pm

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