Housing market surges in March as fresh loan regulation looms

MARCH was a boom month for the housing market according to a range of research released today, and ahead of the oncoming change in regulation with the mortgage market review.

According to estate agents Barnard Marcus, London sales roared back from a winter slumber, with the number of transactions up by 34 per cent from February alone. The group say prices rose by nearly a quarter during the year to March, faster than official statistics indicate.

An LMS report also out today suggests that despite huge growth in lending over recent months, there were fewer remortgage loans in March than at any time since 2005. The group says the mortgage market review, which comes into effect this weekend and will tighten lending standards, prompted the drop.

In comparison, LSL Property Services say March was a massive month for first time buyers, with 31,400 sales making it the busiest since mid-2007. The firm says the number of first time buyers is up 60.2 per cent from the same month in 2013, and deposits are shrinking.