Revival of housing market widens, data show

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PROPERTY sales grew at their fastest annual rate in 10 years in the six months to September 2013 as the housing market revival spread across England and Wales, according to a report.

But the study shows more parts of Yorkshire are missing out on the boom than any other region.

The North, the West Midlands, Wales and London were named by the Lloyds Bank research as the regions with the biggest proportion of “property hot spots”. One hundred per cent of towns in these regions recorded a year-on-year increase in home sales.

In Yorkshire, 93 per cent of the region recorded increases in sales, the lowest proportion in the country. Places to see sales falls included Dewsbury, which saw a seven per cent drop, and Selby, where sales fell by one per cent.

Across England and Wales, 98 per cent of towns were found to be “hot spots” which saw an annual uplift in sales. A year earlier, just over one quarter of towns saw a year-on-year increase.

The report, which used Land Registry figures, found there were 396,756 house sales in the six months to September. But property sales were still two fifths below a market peak of 673,699 sales in the half-year to September 2006 at the height of the boom.

Both the North West and the East Midlands saw a 23 per cent rise in activity between March and September 2012 and the same period a year later. The North East saw the lowest rise at 19 per cent.

On a more local level, the East London borough of Newham saw the largest year-on-year increase in home sales, with a 62 per cent rise in the six months to September. Crowborough in East Sussex saw the biggest drop in home sales over the same period, with a 10 per cent fall in transactions.

Housing Minister and Keighley MP Kris Hopkins said: “With house sales at a 10-year high, it’s clear that the housing market has turned a corner. Our efforts to cut the record deficit have kept interest rates low, meaning home ownership is now at its most affordable since 2007.

“But we’re determined to help any hard-working aspiring homeowner get on the property ladder, which is why our Help to Buy schemes are already helping 28,000 people buy their own home with a fraction of the deposit they would normally require.

“Leading developers have said they’ll build more as a direct response to this increased demand, with housebuilding now growing at its fastest rate for a decade.”