home sales in three-year peak

Greenbelt welcomes signs of recovery in the market

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) announced today that the number of homes sold in the UK over the past three months has reached its highest level since January 2010 – its members sold on average 17.9 properties during the three months to May.

Meanwhile, the latest RICS residential market survey showed that prices also rose last month – 5% more chartered surveyors reported increases rather than decreases. Until recent months price stability had been focussed in the South East of England and London – now this is beginning to extend to other areas of the UK.

With the sales market maintaining its slow recovery, chartered surveyors also expect house prices to rise over the coming three months, with a net balance of 20% more respondents predicting growth.

The Funding for Lending scheme, launched last year, offers banks and building societies cheap finance to encourage them to lend more to households and businesses and has led to more affordable new mortgages. The government's Help to Buy scheme commits funds to shared equity loans for new-build homes and from 2014 will guarantee mortgages, allowing buyers to purchase without large deposits.

Commenting on the news, Gareth Davies, Greenbelt Group's Business Development Director, said: "With housing remaining high on the political priority list, with initiatives and interventions that can be seen in all areas of the housing industry, this news further supports the confidence levels that are returning to the market.

"Research of more than 9000 potential buyers from Rightmove also revealed that 72% of those who expect to buy a property in the next 12 months have heard of the new Help to Buy scheme.

"Other topical reports include recent statistics that UK construction has returned to growth after a six-month contraction – this was supported by an increased level of house building.

"Greenbelt's clients across the UK are reacting positively and preparing for the 'uplift' in the market on the back of stronger forward sales. We have seen a direct correlation with an 87% increase in new development enquiries year on year over the past six months. The market will, therefore, see an increased level of new development outlets, more output and more choice"