Real estate agents report indicates UK property market is stabilising

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Real estate agents in the UK have sold an average of ten properties a month for the last three months amid signs that the property market is stabilising.

The difference between the asking and selling prices for homes shrank to just 1.9% last month, down from 6.3% in May, a report from the National Association of Estate Agents also shows.

Although there was a slight dip in the number of properties sold and the number of house hunters registering with estate agents, the outlook is positive as the number of buyers is still almost double that of a year ago. But most agents expect a further dip during the summer when many people are traditionally on holiday.

The housing market is in a far stronger position than it was 12 months ago. After several months of continuous improvement the market stabilised in June, ahead of an expected seasonal dip throughout the summer,’ said Gary Smith, NAEA President.

The average asking price for a semi-detached home was £210,755 in June, but they typically sold for £11,869 less at £198,886. Flats are faring much better, with the average asking price £144,048, compared to an average selling price of £143,049.

A shortage of properties on the market is thought to be providing some support to house prices. But the NAEA is also warning that many would be buyers are still finding it hard to obtain a mortgage.

Smith called on the government to put pressure on lenders and to scrap the controversial Home Information Packs which the NAEA have consistently said are hampering the number of properties being put up for sale.

‘The Government should scrap Home Information Packs and must pressure banks to ensure lending is available. We know that there is demand for property and that our professional agents are successfully finding buyers for their clients’ properties,’ he said.    ‘It is in the interests of the UK as a whole that the upturn in the housing market that has been noted in the first half of 2009 is sustained and nurtured into a full recovery. The Government must do more to ensure that money that has been given to banks finds its way through the system and into the housing market,’ he added.

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