At long last we really feel we have something to cheer about in the housing market. The latest RICs residential market survey suggests that the amount of homes sold in the UK over the past three months reached its highest level since January 2010 as buyers across the country began to return to the market.
Furthermore, both the Halifax and Nationwide recently reported annual rises in prices – 2.6% and 1.1% respectively. In fact the Halifax said that UK house prices are now rising at their fastest rate since September 2010.
Then you have the various Government schemes assisting the market. The flagship Help to Buy housing scheme has got off to a “flying start”, according to the Home Builders Federation (HBF). It said that 4,000 people have reserved a new home in the two months since the scheme launched. The HBF said interest in Help to Buy had been “huge”, with over 500 a week taking advantage of the scheme.
I think we can say that despite the heavy criticism from some analysts in the market suggesting that the scheme will help inflate prices, I can’t help that these initiatives are a force for good with the construction sector looking set to boost the jobs market.
Returning to the RICs analysis what really strikes us is the indication that the rise in property prices is no longer confirmed to the South East and London, They are beginning to spread across the country – a significant change indeed.
We stand by what Peter Bolton King, RICs Global Residential Director when he suggests that there was some way to go until ‘we see a full scale recovery’ however ‘green shoots are beginning to sprout’.