January property prices on a high

Monthly sales in January are set to reach 73,000, the highest figure since 2007 and prices have now risen 5.2% annually.

David Brown, commercial director of LSL Property Services, said: “This boost in sales has seen an air of optimism encapsulate the market. While 2013 was a turning point in the recovery, 2014 is set to be a watershed year if the next few months continue in the same vein.”

Last month saw a 67% rise in sales, with transaction levels only 4% below the January average seen in the decade before the credit crunch.

Price rises have now spread to 90% of unitary local authorities - the greatest number since August 2010.

Brown added: “This astounding turnaround can largely be pinned down to the resurgence of the first-time buyer. The wide range of attractive mortgage deals on offer, cheaper rates and wider product choice has been pivotal.

“With mortgages still historically cheap and interest rates set to remain stable for the time being, we’ll continue to see new buyers will rush to the market nationwide. However, even so, price growth and sales levels are still behind their pre-crisis peaks so we’re still some way from the ill-fated ‘bubble zone’.”

West Midlands growth has now surged past the rate seen in the South West, with Reeds Rains branches reporting a large jump in prices in January compared to the preceding month.

Brown concluded that there is a ripple effect in the recovery emerging from London to southern England and East Anglia, before moving to the Midlands.