Hometrack reports housing market upturn

Headline prices grew by 0.1%, the first time values have grown since May 2012, while across the country 14.8% of postcodes registered price rises while 8% saw prices fall.

Richard Donnell, director of research at Hometrack, said: “The latest survey shows that a seasonal upturn in housing market activity kicked in over February with more sales agreed, a bounce in demand and an increase in the supply of homes for sale.”

There was a clear North-South divide as London and the South East accounted for 74% of postcodes registering price rises.

Donnell added: “The impetus for improved market conditions and higher prices has been driven by London and the Home Counties of Southern England where there is the greatest mismatch between supply and demand.”

Almost half of London postcodes registered an increase in values over the month.

On a regional basis the North East, North West and Yorkshire & Humberside all registered price falls, while London, the South East and Wales saw prices increase over the month. All other regions remained static.

New buyers registering with agents over February increased by 14% which was a level consistent with previous years.

The number of new properties coming to the market rose by 8.7%, houses spent on average 9.7 weeks on the market and 93.4% of the asking price was achieved.

Donnell said: “Looking ahead to spring we expect both demand and supply to grow. However higher stamp duty costs in Southern England will remain a disincentive to sell creating scarcity and a support to headline prices.”