HMRC: House sales rise in February
HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has today revealed a slight rise in the number of homes sold in February in the UK.
According to HMRC, 57,000 homes worth at least £40,000 or more were sold in the month – 4,000 more than January‘s levels.
The figures come as the British Bankers’ Association (BBA) revealed a slight rise in the number of new mortgages approved by the major banks in February.
According to the BBA, the number of new mortgages approved in the month stood at 29,923 – marginally better than January’s level of 29,159, albeit lower than economists forecast of 29,350.
However, mortgage approvals were down 11% on the year.
Today’s figures suggest the housing market will remain subdued throughout 2011 due to economic uncertainty and ongoing mortgage restrictions.
In related news, Chancellor George Osborne will deliver his Budget speech today at 1230 GMT and he is expected to unveil a scheme which will help 10,000 first-time buyers purchase new-build flats and houses, according to the BBC.
The buyer would have to fund 5% of the cost, while the Government and home builder would both put up 10%.
The measures come as first-time buyers continue to struggle to get a foot on the property ladder as without a substantial deposit, they are unable to secure a mortgage.