Home sales surge 17%

Figures revealing an upturn in home sales have been interpreted as evidence of a housing market revival. The number of properties changing hands last month jumped nearly a fifth compared with the previous month. Buyers were tempted back to the market as the traditional summer sales bounce was heightened by signs that house prices may have already hit the bottom. Owners sold 76,000 flats and houses last month – the highest monthly number since May 2015 and 17 per cent more than this June. The HM Revenue & Customs figures reinforce the optimism brought by a Council of Mortgage Lenders report that showed a 26 per cent surge in July mortgage lending. Meanwhile, property website Rightmove said that the number of estate agents and lettings agents advertising on its site rose by 1 per cent in the first half of this year