Government policy initiatives combined with economic recovery and increased lending are stimulating the housing market. House prices have been rising strongly, most recently reported as rising 2.4% in February by the Halifax. Prices have risen across all regions, driven by a combination of growing demand and a lack of new sales instructions.
Budget changes aimed at stimulating supply centre on an extension of the Equity Help to Buy scheme. Changes to pension arrangements will also probably have an expansionary impact by freeing up potential new investment in housing. However, changes to annuities may curb institutional interest in the residential sector.
Residential sales reached 1.07m in 2013, and the monthly series shows volumes continuing to steadily increase (109,000 in January/February, compared to 83,000 a year earlier). The demand side of the market is moving ahead strongly.
Source : DTZ (Groupe UGL)