Hometrack indicates small improvement in housing market

Despite this, two key lead indicators from the survey posted clear changes in direction this month.

The average time on the market fell to 11.3 weeks from 12 weeks in February and the proportion of the asking price being achieved rose for the first time in two years from a low of 88.3% to 88.8%.

Hometrack said that this suggested a continued slow move to more realistic pricing.

The number of sales agreed also increased (by 19%) as did the number of new buyer registrations (8.5%).

Following a year of declining demand and market activity, this modest pick up is largely seasonal supported by pent-up demand which is feeding into the market.

But with the expectation of continued increases in unemployment and weak economic growth, together with restricted availability of mortgages, Hometrack said it seemed doubtful whether the increase in activity and sales would continue to gather momentum in the coming months.

Across England and Wales, average prices were down across 50% of the country. This represents the lowest extent of price falls recorded by the survey for 12 months – down from a peak of almost 75% in October 2008.

The Hometrack survey was based upon 5900 responses from 1802 agents and surveyors across all 2300 postcodes in England and Wales.

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