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National agency stock surges 60%

A flurry of instructions has resulted in the volume of sales stock of one of the country’s biggest agency groups soar by 60% year-on-year.


David Newnes, managing director of Your Move, part of LSL Property Services, which also owns Reeds Rains and which snapped up Halifax Estate Agencies Limited in January for £1, says: “Supply of new instructions coming to the market has steadily risen over the last seven weeks, apart from the usual bank holiday blip when less comes onto the market.

“No doubt the abolition of HIPS has helped drive some of this increase.”

Newnes says that the increase in buyer choice has led to a 20% surge in viewings.

However, the group has seen a slowdown in first-time buyer interest, which is reflected in the latest figures from the Bank of England, which reveal that the number of loan approvals for house purchase (49,815) was marginally lower than in April (49,828) and below the previous six-month average (51,856).

LSL’s sales stock surplus is reflected in the Land Registry’s House Price Index for May, which revealed this week that the downward pressure of increased supply has reduced the national average price by 0.2% over the month to £165,314.

It is the first negative monthly movement since April 2009.

Similarly, Rightmove revealed a slowdown in the pace of asking price rises, with prices in June having increased just 0.3%, which compares to a 0.7% rise in May.

Nevertheless, the price decrease has not been enough to lure Brits away from coverage of the World Cup, Wimbledon and the one day cricket to buy, with the latest Agency Express Property Activity Index revealing that the number of UK monthly house sales fell by 5.3% in June and 7% on the year.

On a regional basis, West Midlands suffered the biggest decline in sales, with transactions down a massive 26.4% in June, followed by the South West (-11.4%), Wales (-10.6%), the North East (-8.8%) and London (-7.7%).

Only two regions in the UK reported a rise in June house sales, which was the North West where sales were up 10.5% and the East Midlands where sales rose 6.7%.

Stephen Watson, managing director of Agency Express, says: “Now that England has crashed out of the tournament after a number of lack lustre displays, we can expect homebuyers to return to the housing market with real conviction to get their new property sorted.

“With interest rates still at record low levels and house prices having stabilised, we can expect to see a surge in house sales in July before the holiday season kicks in.”

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