Date Published 24 October 2012

Data from Lloyds TSB has claimed that housing transactions in England and Wales rose 2.2% in the first six months of this year to 282,086. The Land Registry has rather different statistics, but its figures confirm the upward trend in the first half of this year.

According to Land Registry statistics, there were 281,478 sales in the first half of last year, and a grand total of 653,487 for the whole of 2011 in England and Wales.

The Land Registry's transactions for the first half of this year are higher than Lloyds TSB figures, but also show an increase to stand at 299,081 – a more substantial rise.

The Lloyds TSB report, covering 500 of the biggest towns in England and Wales, names the hotspot as Felixstowe, Suffolk, where sales jumped 60%, followed by Brighouse, West Yorkshire, where there was a 53% rise in sales.

Salford recorded a 28% fall, followed by Leigh, Lancashire, down 27%.

Sales were higher in 324 towns, 60% of them in the South.

Suren Thiru, Lloyds TSB housing economist, said the encouraging increase in the number of towns showing a rise in home sales highlighted the mixed state of the housing market at local level compared with the subdued picture at national level.

She said: `Many of the top-performing towns are in areas where improved levels of affordability over recent years have helped support demand for those able to enter the housing market.`

The Daily Express ran the story under the headline ‘New bounce in housing market'.

The big question, however, is what transaction levels will be showing by the end of this year.