The Haart agency group has given an upbeat picture of the housing market in its latest figures with instructions up 15 per cent across the UK in February, and new buyer registrations increasing 20 per cent.
In addition it says viewings were up 17 per cent in the same period, while transactions specifically within London were up 15 per cent.
However, its figures also show that the average UK house price is now £228,395 - some two per cent lower than a year ago - while house sale exchanges for February were also 3.3 per cent down on the picture in February 2017.
In London Haart says the average house property price is £566,033 (up 2.5 per cent on the year) while across the UK as a whole the average first time buyer’s house price - £176,145 - is slightly lower, down 0.7 per cent on the year.
Paul Smith, chief executive of the group, says the February figures take demand “to a level not seen since the month after the UK voted to leave the EU. It certainly feels as if the market is returning to its traditional pre-Brexit cycle.”
“We also saw improvements to London’s rental market in February” he says.
“Figures from the past couple of months are bucking trends seen post-stamp duty surcharge change [April 2016] and landlords are returning to the market, with sales to landlords jumping 18 per cent on the month. Clearly potential investors are recognising the long-term value of property, in comparison to the overvalued stock market, in an uncertain economic outlook.”
The Spicerhaart group encompasses six estate agency brands – Chewton Rose, Darlows, Felicity J Lord, haart, Haybrook, Brian Holt and butters john bee – together with a range of professional services.