Another rise in the number of house sales

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The number of house sales in the UK increased slightly during February showing that serious house hunters remain active in the property market, according to estate agents.

The latest figures from the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) reveal a rise in the number of homes sold during February with 8 sales per branch compared with 7 in January, reaching a three month high.

This increase follows a set of impressive house hunter figures in January where an average of 314 house hunters were registered per branch compared with 282 in December 2012. Although February’s market report shows that house hunter levels have since reduced to 289 per branch, the rise in sales might suggest that the heightened demand has been satisfied.

February also saw an increase in the supply of houses, with the average number of properties per NAEA branch increasing from 56 in January to 58 in February. First time buyers entering the housing market dropped slightly from 25 per cent in January to 24 per cent in February.

President of the NAEA Mark Hayward, said: “These latest figures for February indicate not only that serious house hunters remain in the market, but that sellers are getting more confident that they can secure a sale.

“In some cases, lending rates have become more attractive to those who can afford to pull together a deposit on a home. Certainly, the Chancellor’s unveiling of the ‘Help to Buy’ scheme in last week’s Budget, which included a package of measures to support those struggling to get onto the property ladder, is a positive development.

“It is important however that the housing industry, lenders and Government continue to work together to look at more ways to offer support to prospective homeowners.”