Page last updated at 23:01 GMT, Thursday, 15 April 2010 00:01 UK

Housing market sees spring bounce, estate agents say

Estate agent's window
The market is benefiting from its usual spring surge, estate agents say

The number of people trying to buy or sell homes has picked up in the past month, according to estate agents.

The number of potential sellers rose in March to its highest level for six months, the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) said.

And the number of prospective buyers went up by 7% last month.

The NAEA said spring had brought its usual increase in activity, and suggested sales would improve in the coming months.

"Spring has finally arrived and brought with it a much needed boost to the housing market, particularly among sellers," said Gary Smith of the NAEA.

"This figure has been low in recent months and this is a welcome indication that reflects a growing confidence that the recovery is well underway."

Encouraging signs

Earlier this week, a survey by the the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics), some of whose members also work as estate agents, reported that the number of people trying to sell their homes last month had reached its highest level since May 2007.

With the bad weather now behind us buyers and sellers alike are returning to the market with a renewed vigour
National Association of Estate Agents

According to the NAEA's survey, the average number of homes for sale at each of its member's branches rose from 56 in February to 60 in March.

At the same time, the number of house hunters registered with each branch went up by 7% last month, to 274 per branch.

Sales have also risen, the NAEA said, from an average of 6.8 per branch in February to eight last month.

The NAEA said all this was encouraging, especially with more sellers around.

"This month's figures reveal an increase in the levels of housing stock with more properties available for sale per branch - the highest value recorded over the last six months," the NAEA said.

"More house-hunters also registered their interest. With the bad weather now behind us buyers and sellers alike are returning to the market with a renewed vigour," it added.



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