Any talk of a UK housing market slowdown was shrugged off this week, as new figures revealed that property sales surged last month in England and Wales.Transactions in October jumped 9 per cent in October 2014, the highest level of sales completed in a month since November 2007. As a result, that demand pushed up prices further, with values edging up from 0.4 per cent growth in September to an increase of 0.7 per cent (or Â£2,026). Prices are now at an average of Â£277,390, 10.5 per cent higher year-on-year and the 16th month of a new record price in a row.
Prices fell, though, at the top of the prime London market, while the city overalls saw its smallest monthly in 15 months. Indeed, the rise in transactions was predominantly fuelled by activity outside of the capital.
David Newnes, director of Reeds Rains and Your Move estate agents, says the surge marks "a considerable â though laborious â reflection of the increased buyer activity earlier in the year since the recession zapped the energy from the market". Indeed, many of the completed sales were finishing transactions that had been sat in the pipeline for some time.
"Recent hiccups in the market have not shaken the overall underlying stability and the average UK homeowner has seen the value of their property rise Â£26,500 (or 10.5%) in the past year," he adds.
The relative lack of growth in London also shows that broadening of the recovery away from the capital, with the biggest uplift in Q3 2014 compared to Q3 2013 locatd in the West Midlands and East Midlands, where sales leapt 22 per cent. (In the capital, on the other hand, completed sales increased 33 per cent annually.
"In regions such as the North and East Anglia, which saw average house prices slump during September, further growth in activity is critical to warm up the local recovery," comments Newnes. "First-time buyers in particular need shielding from any future cooling interventions from the government or Bank of England."