20th February 2015
House sales last year hit their highest point since 2007, with the biggest pick up seen in the capital.
Property sales in the first 10 months of 2014 were 21% higher than the same period in 2013, according to Lloyds Bank, the highest for this period since 2007.
The number of sales in England and Wales between January and October last year totalled 760,000. There has been a significant turnaround since the 2009 recession, with sales in the first 10 months of last year 60% higher than the same period in 2009.
However, the number of sales still remain 27% below those seen in 2007, when the UK’s property purchase frenzy was at its peak.
The year on year increase from 2013 to 2014, was most keenly felt in the East Midlands, West Midlands, and the North West – with sales up 26%, 25%, and 25% respectively.
Greater London saw the smallest rise in house price sales, with 2014 figures up 11% on 2013. This is consistent with house price inflation in the capital and south east and after a period of rocketing prices, the market has started to cool since the summer.
However, London has recorded the biggest pick-up in sales over the past five years as a whole, with a 74% gain between 2009 and 2014. All regions in England and Wales have seen rises of at least 50% over this period.
Andy Hulme, mortgage director at Lloyds Bank, said: ‘The recovery in the housing market continued in 2014 with sales rising further in almost all areas of the country. Low interest rates, improvements in the UK economy and government schemes, such as Help to Buy, all appear to have contributed to the rise in home sales.
‘Despite these improvements, sales both nationally and regionally are still significantly below their pre-recession levels. There is a clear north versus south patter to he housing market recovery with sales closer to their 2007 levels in the south. Indeed, a small number of towns recorded higher sales last year than seven years earlier, but sales remained much lower that 2007 levels in most areas.’