'Stable market is healthy'
More people have been buying homes in Gloucestershire this year making it a busy time in the Five Valleys, say two estate agents.
Simon Trippett, areas sales manager at The Property Centre and Richard Powell co-founder of Naylor Powell Estate Agents have seen sales increase in the past 12 months but there have been hurdles to overcome.
Simon said: "There have been a number of things that have proved challenging for us and the property market, and not all of them to do with the economy.
"According to the Met Office we have had the wettest summer in 100 years. There has also been a lot to distract potential customers. Who can forget the Olympics and the Paralympics? Or Andy Murray's attempt to win the Wimbledon title, and his eventual victory at the US Open? Britain's first Grand Slam for 76 years. Also, Bradley Wiggins and his remarkable Tour De France victory and the icing on the cake - Europe's dramatic clinching of the Ryder Cup on US soil.
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"So it is a testament to the hard work of our sales negotiators that our figures are positive when we compare them with 2011.
"For example, when we look at the beginning of the year we saw a slow increase in net sales. However we were much busier with big increases in the number of viewings and valuations completed.
"This early activity has helped drive sales at the end of spring and the beginning of the summer where we saw increases in sales of 16 per cent for April, and 18 per cent in May.
"This was topped in July with 20 per cent increase in sales.
"As expected the poor weather, summer holidays and the excellent sporting calendar did slow sales in August, however from mid-September we have seen similar increases of activity to the start of the year and expect this to continue."
Richard Powell, of Naylor Powell Estate Agents, which has an office in Stonehouse, also said sales had increased this year and that he was looking forward to the next 12 months.
"I anticipate more houses selling through 2013 but do not see any dramatic change in house values in the near future. A stable market is healthy for all concerned," he said.
"Hopefully, the slight reduction in house prices will particularly assist first-time buyers and we are definitely seeing an increase in sales achieved."