Sellers return to housing market say estate agents

The number of people putting their house up for sale jumped in February, according to new figures from the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA).

Available stock in the UK housing market saw a 25% year-on-year rise last month with an average of 70 properties available for sale per estate agent branch – up from 56 properties per branch in February 2010.

Property sales also increased in February – rising to an average of 8 per branch from 6 per branch in the previous month.

This increase in the supply of homes could put some downward pressure on house prices in the short term and NAEA President Michael Jones said that sellers are being “more realistic about the price they can expect to achieve when they put their house on the market”.

However, the NAEA’s figures also showed a rise in February in the number of house hunters registered with estate agents – the latest figure of 268 house hunters per branch is the highest for seven months and according to the NAEA, suggests a “renewed confidence in the property market.”

Overall, these figures show signs of the usual seasonal uplift in the housing market, albeit from very low levels.  However, we’ll have to wait and see whether the rise in buyer demand will be enough to match the growing supply of properties for sale and to help stabilise house prices.

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