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.. but estate agents are busy as more property comes on the market

January was busy for estate agents after a surge in property placed on the market and an increase in mortgage applications, according to the National Association of Estate Agents.

NAEA research shows that despite the post-Christmas rush to enter the market, house prices remain steady, averaging 209,561. Findings show only a 0.14 per cent monthly increase, meaning just a 1.11 per cent increase over the year. The average number of properties with an estate agent is now 75 compared with 38 in January 2004.

Last month was the first time that house prices had not fallen since May last year and the market barely slowed during Christmas as might have been expected.

However, discounts are high, with the average buyer paying on average 4 per cent less than the asking price.

NAEA president Richard Hair says: “Reports from estate agents throughout the UK are hugely positive, with news of high numbers of valuations and many new properties coming on to the market. With interest rates unchanged and the chance of them being lowered in the next few months, there seems to be little reason why the brisk activity seen so far will not continue.”

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