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Realistic prices lead to increase in sales

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There was a marked bounce back in the housing market in June, after a grim May.

It was thanks in part to agents suggesting realistic prices to keep turnover ticking over, claims a new report.

The latest analysis from data agency Hometrack says the volume of sales agreed by agents rose in June by 10.6 per cent - the highest monthly increase since March (12.6 per cent).

The number of would-be buyers registering with agents also rose from -0.5 per cent in May to 1.9 per cent in June.

Richard Donnell, Hometrack director of research, says: "With greater realism from sellers about achievable pricing levels, agents are keeping prices at a level where transactions can take place to support their revenue.

"However, sales volumes are only half the story and pricing levels remain under downward pressure. Average prices fell by 0.1 per cent in June, as the supply of homes for sale continued to grow ahead of demand."

Hometrack, which collects reports from about 6,000 agency branches, says the number of homes for sale on agents' books grew 3.5 per cent in June following a three per cent increase in May.

It says average prices slipped one per cent over the first half of the year, and are 3.9 per cent lower than a year ago, but sales volumes have increased as demand has improved.

At a local level, the market remains highly polarised. The average time that a home spends on the market ranges from six weeks in London to 14 weeks in Wales.

Hometrack says buyers, nationally, can expect to get 92.8 per cent of their asking price - ranging from 93.9 per cent in Greater London to 90.2 per cent in the North East.

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