Building society lenders are reporting for every £1 borrowed by a home buyer, buy to let landlords are taking out £1.11 in property investment loans – but many property people just where these sales are taking place.
At last the details are revealed – the phone sales hot spot is a small triangle in the West Midlands comprising old Black Country industrial and coal mining towns.
Far from unfashionable Bilston, near Wolverhampton, saw house sales surge by 30% last year – the highest rise in the UK.
Near neighbour Rugeley, Staffordshire, (30.6%) came a close second and even closer neighbour Wednesbury (19.4%) took fifth place.
Bootle, Merseyside (21%) was third and Thetford, Norfolk, (18.5%), the only southern town in the top 10.
The figures come from Lloyds Bank, which tracks property sales in 500 towns and cities across England and Wales – and has revealed that last year, 300 registered a fall in the number of home sales.
Sales dropped to their lowest level in three years and do not look set to improve, says the bank.
Home sales were at their lowest level since 2008, when every town and city recorded a fall.
Home sales numbered 630,389 in England and Wales last year, 4% down on 2010 and 48% lower than the peak of the housing market in 2007, when 1,223,826 homes changed hands.
Tower Hamlets, East London, had the largest sales decline (-22%), followed by Potters Bar, Hertfordshire (-20%) and Penzance, Cornwall (-19%).
Suren Thiru, Lloyds TSB Housing Economist, said: “Housing market activity across England and Wales weakened over the past year, reflecting the concerns over the outlook for the economy. Consumers are experiencing difficulties in raising the necessary deposit, which is preventing many potential home buyers from entering the market.
“While a number of towns in the North have seen a significant rise in home sales, these increases have been from a historically low base. Generally, property prices in the North continue to be weaker than in the South.”