SOLD! Nottingham estate agents say house sales are up
SOLD – that's a word Nottingham estate agents hope to be hearing a lot more in 2013.
And they say the signs are promising.
At the city centre branch of Nottingham Building Society, there were 19 sales and 28 instructions to put homes up for sale in the last quarter of 2012 – up from 16 and 13 respectively in the same period of 2011.
One home even sold on Christmas Eve.
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That increase of nearly 20 per cent in sales is reflected across the whole company, which saw a four per cent increase in the whole of 2012 and had a 50 per cent year-on-year rise in January.
City centre branch manager Jayne Shepherdson, said: "Sales certainly picked up in November and December last year. It was unusual we had a sale on Christmas Eve. Overall, 2012 was more successful than 2011. Hopefully that trend will continue this year."
Paul Offley, estate agency operations manager, said: "We believe that these positive signs in the housing market could be due to favourable mortgage rates, realistic house pricing in the area and an increase in public confidence in the market."
The increase comes at a time when reports are regularly suggesting people and businesses are finding it harder making ends meet.
The 2008 financial crisis caused banks and other mortgage lenders to tighten their belts, so money dried up, meaning that first-time buyers struggled to borrow money and vendors had difficultly finding buyers.
But estate agents in Notts said things were now looking up.
Saints Property Services, in Beeston, has regularly been selling two properties a week. Nick Parker, one of the managers, said often last year they were selling two a month.
He said: "We are only a small business but we have found that sales have increased. I think that people are thinking that the market isn't going to get better so they might as well crack on rather than waiting."
At Richard Watkinson and Partners' Newark branch, sales have also been on the up. Eighteen homes were sold last month, compared with 11 in January 2012. Kirsty Keeton, one of the branch's managers, said: "Things are looking better, but it's difficult to say if it's a trend that will continue. There are regularly peaks and troughs in this industry."
Gascoines, in Southwell, has already completed 17 sales this year, compared to 12 in the same period last year. Emma Gascoine said: "We have also had more viewings since the turn of the year. The signs are promising."