Bury Named Top Property Hotspot

Halifax's property sales report found house sales in the northern town had risen by 44% over the first six months of 2011, compared with the same period in 2010, more than any other town surveyed.

The document put the upsurge in Bury property sales down to a marked rise in the level of activity at the lower end of the housing market, with flats and terraced homes accounting for 77% of the overall rise in sales.

Great Yarmouth was the only southern area to make the top five recording the biggest rises in residential property sales since 2010.

But Halifax, which used Land Registry data, said several of the top areas had seen high growth from a relatively low base level of sales.

Suren Thiru, Halifax housing economist, said: ``A number of towns across England and Wales have experienced a significant rise in home sales over the past year despite the more subdued picture across the country as a whole...

``The relatively favourable levels of affordability in many of the top performing northern towns have helped to support housing market activity in these locations, albeit from historically low levels.''

Nine of the 10 towns that recorded the biggest declines in property sales over the past year were in southern England.

Hoddesdon in Hertfordshire saw the largest drop in sales, followed by Buckingham.

All regions saw a fall in sales between the first halves of 2010 and 2011. The North recorded the smallest fall of 2.2%, while the number of home sales in London fell by 11.3% over the period, more than in any other region.