Sellers beginning to re-emerge in the property market

Countrywide

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Countrywide market Insight report - March 2011

The number of new properties coming onto the sales market increased by 4 percent in March, the third consecutive monthly increase [1], according to Countrywide, the UK's largest Property Services Group.

Across Countrywide's network of 1,300 estate agency & lettings offices, the number of new properties available to purchase increased by 37 percent compared to Q4 2010.

Overall, the residential market in March remained relatively stable with modest improvements in other key market indicators.

Whilst the overall number of sales agreed across the UK dipped by 0.8 percent, the increase in stamp duty land tax for properties above £1 million [2] saw agents reporting an influx of buyers rushing to complete sales in March.  In London and South East market the number of sales agreed increased by 41 percent in March compared to the previous month through Countrywide's premier agents Hamptons International, John D Wood & Co, Faron Sutaria and UK Sotheby's International Realty.

Countrywide operates the UK's largest mortgage broker network and the activities of its 650 mortgage consultants have revealed a 9 percent increase in mortgage applications during March. The volume of remortgage applications dipped by 2 percent in March, with applications for remortgages making up 26 percent of all mortgage applications in the month.

Applications for fixed rate mortgages dominated Countrywide's Top 10 Most Popular Mortgages [3] with all ten being fixed rate products. Findings also show that in Q1 2011, 87 percent of mortgage applications were for fixed rate mortgages, a 26 percent increase year-on-year. 

In the private rental sector, the number of new tenant registering for rental accommodation remained high and in line with seasonal trends, the number of viewings conducted increasing 6 percent month-on-month.

Grenville Turner, Chief Executive of Countrywide, the UK's largest property services Group, said;
"The UK housing sector has experienced a challenging start to the year, but the surge in high value sales has helped the first quarter to come in line with our expectations, with those vendors with realistic expectations being able to achieve sales.

"Last week's surprise fall in inflation may have bought some respite for customers and increase the pressure on the Bank of England to hold off from raising interest rates in the next few months. The market remains sensitive and will continue to face challenges in the next quarter as the speed and level of growth in the housing sector is likely to continue to be impacted by the overall outlook for the UK economy."

Market Insight - March 2011
NB: As the UK's largest property services Group, Countrywide compares its monthly and year on year performance figures to provide a unique insight into the UK property market.

Mortgages: (based on the activities of the UK's largest mortgage broker with approximately 650 mortgage consultants)

Estate agency:(based on the activities of theUK's largest estate agency & lettings network, operating 1,300 offices)

Residential Lettings:(based on the activities of theUK's largest estate agency & lettings network, operating 1,300 offices)

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