Property Sales Hit Two Year High
Further evidence of the recovery in the UK housing market has come from figures showing completed residential property sales hit a two-year high in December.
Provisional figures from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) show 104,000 deals involving properties priced above £40,000 were completed in December.
It was the first time since December 2007 that the number has risen above the 100,000 level.
Transaction levels had hit their lowest point during the slump in January 2009.
In that month, only 41,000 properties were sold. This was the smallest number sold in any month since current records began in 1977.
The rebound in sales and prices as 2009 progressed took most analysts by surprise, yet many have predicted a relatively static 2010.
The HMRC figures revealed that the number of sales in 2009 ended up relatively similar to the level of the previous year.
Some 848,000 homes were sold during 2009, the HMRC said, which was a slight fall from the 920,000 sold the previous year.
However, this was in stark contrast to the housing boom earlier in the decade. In 2007, there were 1.62 million properties sold, which was close to the 1.67 million of 2006.
Both the Nationwide and Halifax house price surveys calculated that prices ended 2009 slightly higher than they were at the start of the year.