Oldham Evening Chronicle: Housing market up and down
Thu 03 Jan 2013
The "topsy-turvy" nature of the housing market was in evidence today, as official figures showed that prices edged up but sales slowed.
House prices increased by 0.3 per cent month-on-month in November to reach 161,490 across England and Wales, pushing them 0.9 per cent higher than a year earlier, the Land Registry said.
But sales were more sluggish, with 57,971 transactions taking place between June and September, representing a drop of around 7 per cent on the same period in 2011.
Distractions such as the Olympics have been blamed for disrupting the housing market last summer.
There have been conflicting predictions for house prices this year, with some studies forecasting slight increases, some saying prices will edge lower, and others predicting they will be broadly flat.
Peter Rollings, of estate agent Marsh & Parsons, said: "Rising national house prices will provide cheer for homeowners who have seen their equity dwindle since the initial credit crunch, but the falling number of moves taking place highlights the topsy-turvy nature of last year's housing market.
"Even as late as September, the market was struggling to come to terms with distractions earlier in the summer, which ha,pered the number of buyers in a position to finalise moves in the month.
"But recent improvements in mortgage lending, combined with rising national house prices point towards a more positive end to the year and start to 2013."