The latest Agency Express Property Activity Index shows that the UK’s house sales were down on February’s levels but the number of properties that were put on the market hit a 20-month high.
Nationally, the number of houses sold in March was 13.7% less than in February but was still 5.1% up on March 2009.
The number of properties that were put up ‘For Sale’ rose by 5.3% on February to their highest level since July 2008. Year-on-year there was a 38.9% increase.
Although house sales nationally were lower than March, some regions saw significant growth. Sales in Central England nearly doubled in March growing 94.7%. The West Midlands was up 13.2% followed by the East Midlands with a 10.6% increase. Several regions saw their highest level of house sales for a considerable time. London hit its highest level since October 2007, the East Midlands and the South East had their best months for house sales since April 2008 and Scotland had its best month since May 2008.
York was the city that experienced the greatest increase in house sales in March with a 44.8% increase compared to February. Other notable rises were seen in Cardiff (30.8%), Birmingham (23.8%), Nottingham (16.3%), Exeter (15.3%) and Norwich (9.8%).
Central England again led the way for the highest increase in properties being put up ‘For Sale’ in March with a rise of 120.9%. Next came London (19.5%) followed by the North East (12.6%), Scotland (10.2%), the South East (7.5%) and Yorkshire (7.2%).
Bristol had the biggest rise in houses being put on the market with a 26.0% increase with Southampton following on 12.5% and then Norwich at 12.4%, York and Newcastle at 10.7% and Leeds at 10.0%.
Stephen Watson, managing director of Agency Express, said: “Although house sales nationally are down on February it still bodes well for a good Spring for house sellers. February was a bumper month because the bad weather in January subdued activity. Eight regions in the UK saw an increase in March sales with several hitting their highest levels for some considerable time. Both London and the South East reported growth which is a good sign for the rest of the country as often activity here triggers activity in the rest of the country.