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New UK housing index reveals activity increase

A new UK property activity index has revealed that the housing market is showing signs of improvement.

The Agency Express Property Activity Index bases its information on the volume and activity status of ‘For Sale’ and ‘Sold’ boards across the UK.

It has found that the number of ‘Sold’ signs instructed by estate agents in May rose to its second highest level in 12 months – showing a 1.7 per cent increase on April and a 123.2 per cent increase on December 2008’s two-year low.

The Index also reports a 2.1 per cent increase from April to May in the number of ‘For Sale’ boards being erected – the fourth month out of the last five that the number of new boards has increased on the previous month since December 2008.

But the index has also found that it is currently taking longer than average for houses to be sold; from having a ‘For Sale’ sign erected to it being ‘Sold’ in May was 158 days, which is the longest since data recording began in January 2007. The average time it has taken over the last 29 months is 116 days.

Agency Express managing director Stephen Watson says: “More properties are getting sold now than they have been for 12 months and more people are deciding that now is the time to put their house up for sale. Because our data is gathered from the very start of the house sale chain we’re confident it’s a good indicator of activity which will be reflected in other housing indexes in three or four months’ time.”


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