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Encouraging Signs Of Life In Housing Market

Strong Start To The Year With New Instructions Up Almost 30 Per Cent


A leading conveyancer says there are “encouraging signs of life” in the housing market after experiencing a strong start to the year with new instructions up almost 30 per cent.

Irwin Mitchell Solicitors guides thousands of people through their property transactions every year and has seen an increase in work over the past few months.

Lisa Gibbs, Partner and head of the Conveyancing team at Irwin Mitchell said: “The housing market has taken a battering over the past three or four years but we are seeing encouraging signs of life with new enquiries and instructions up on last year.

“Our figures for December 2011 were up by 29 per cent on December 2010 and this trend looks to be continuing into 2012. This ties in with figures released today by the Council of Mortgage Lenders which show an increase in loans for house purchases compared to December 2010.

“Our instructions have increased by 27 per cent compared to the same period last year. Although it is too early to predict if this is a long-term increase, our discussions with estate agents also reveal that they are much busier for sales and new enquiries compared to January 2011.”

Lisa also warned first-time buyers to act quickly if they want to save up to £2,500 on the purchase of their property by completing before the 25 March 2012 deadline for Stamp Duty relief. The payment ‘holiday’ period introduced by the government is set to end next month.

She said: “The New Year is a time when many people reassess their living arrangements and think about the future especially those currently renting as they often consider their savings and think this is the year they can finally step onto the property ladder.

“Now is the time for those who are still thinking about taking the plunge to act, if they want to ensure their deal to buy is completed before the upcoming March deadline.”