Housing transactions jump by 11% in July

Housing market transactions increased for the second consecutive month, jumping by 11% in July, says the LSL Property Services/Acadametrics House Price Index.

The Index shows transactions rose from 64,915 in June to an estimated 72,100 in July while activity has doubled since January.

House prices also registered a 0.1% rise in July, their first increase in five months while average prices over the last three months have remained largely stable.

The annual increase of property prices has slowed to 8.1% owing to the stronger year on year comparisons.

The average house price in England and Wales is now £220,685, 4.8% down on its February 2008 peak of £231,828.

David Brown, commercial director of LSL Property Service, says house sales have showed particularly strong growth in July, ahead of the usual seasonal uptick.

He adds: “We don’t expect a return to the mini-boom of late last year, but the likelihood of a significant downturn is small too. Small monthly house price fluctuations are likely to continue in the short-term.

He says that longer term recovery is dependent on an improvement in the mortgage products on offer for first-time buyers.

Peter Williams, chairman of Acadametrics, says the growth in transactions is impressive as the monthly average over the last 15 years is just 4.1% growth.

He adds:“We are clearly in a period of considerable uncertainty and, at best, the market is likely to continue to remain close to flat; that said, there will be strong regional and local variations. Despite the underlying imbalance of demand and supply, there is little to suggest that we will see any strong recovery in the housing market in 2010 or, indeed, into 2011.”