The number of properties advertised for sale with estate agents in 100 major towns and cities across the UK has increased significantly compared to last year’s figures as confidence returns to the property market.

Despite the “beast from the east” creating havoc across the country at the beginning of this year, with repercussions felt across a number of sectors including the housing market, new figures released by online agent HouseSimple.com have revealed that activity in the property market surged in March.

Compared to March 2017, last month had 43.3% more properties listed with estate agents across the UK, with 67,931 new homes advertised against the previous year’s 47,413. Last March was significant as the month when Article 50 was triggered, marking the start of the much anticipated Brexit negotiations, and the year since then has been rife with uncertainty and speculation.

On a month-on-month basis, March’s results were up by 1.1% compared to February, which, while only a minor uptick, is a step in the right direction as the UK’s property market shows its resilience.

Sellers must stand out from the crowd

Sam Mitchell, CEO of HouseSimple.com, said: “Although the early spring market was disrupted by some pretty awful weather in March, now the snow has melted, the next couple of months are set to be a very busy period. Saying that, we still saw quite a few opportunistic sellers marketing last month hoping to steal a march on the competition and secure a sale while fewer properties were being listed.

“Seller activity has already picked up noticeably since Easter, and in the current buyer’s market, the successful seller will be the one who stands out from the crowd; whether that’s pricing their property realistically or offering a superior product to the market.”

Across the various towns and cities, there was a roughly 50:50 split between those that saw property listings increase and those that experienced a decline, which is likely to be linked to a number of seasonal as well as regional factors. In the north-west, Chester and Oldham both saw comfortable rises of 24% each, while Rochdale’s numbers fell by 26.3%. As confidence returns to the UK housing market, we could be expected to see a more positive set of results in the next couple of months as more buyers and sellers get moving again.