5 May 2009

The number of homes being sold is on the increase as the recession begins to loosen its hold over the property market, according to local estate agents.

The main reason is that sellers are bringing their prices into line with the financial clim

One agency has reported further improvements in the market over the first four months of the year but warned that the recovery would only continue if vendors remained realistic about prices.

Their head of residential said: "Our sales over the last four months are marginally higher than for the same period last year.

"These healthy sales can be attributed to pragmatic vendors accepting that prices have fallen and reacting accordingly to offers on their homes.

"It is realism like this that will cultivate recovery in the property market, but improvements are fragile and attempts to raise prices simply not sustainable.

"We're also seeing a steady increase in first-time buyers returning to the market - they are being attracted by improved affordability, slightly more flexible lending and, of course, relatively cheap interest rates."

According to recent figures, the most active property sector is homes in excess of "250,000 and below the "700,000 mark.

"This is good to see as this sector has struggled over the last six months. The ripples of success in the market have been felt across the Wharfe Valley with estate agents from Ilkley, Otley, Guiseley, Horsforth and Yeadon reporting similar findings.

"The situation is definitely starting to show movement but sellers do have to be realistic. Some of them are keen to step up the price but it is unrealistic to expect what houses would have fetched two to three years ago.

"We recently had an offer on a house which was "20,000-"30,000 below the asking price which I felt was a very strong offer. But because the seller had paid more for it a couple of years ago he was unable to accept.

"That said, there are a lot of first-time buyers stepping up which is helping to get things moving and that is showing right across the area, particularly in the Horsforth and Guiseley areas.

"The situation is looking a lot more positive and despite what the experts say about us not yet reaching rock bottom, I suspect that the worst might be behind us."

"This announcement is just the latest in a raft of good news stories published recently, which confirm that the longed-for green shoots have not only appeared but are beginning to flower.

"The combination of competitive property prices, historically low interest rates and slowly improving credit conditions have all had a very positive effect on the market, as shown by the increase in our net sales figures."

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