An upturn in the property market has been reported by estate agency signs firm Agency Express, which also points to a slowing of the London market (see next story).

It said that sales rose by 8.7% over June, while new listings went up by 5.6%.

Of the 12 UK regions tracked, ten bucked the seasonal trend with month-on-month increases in new For Sale listings during July, the most marked being the North-East (up by 38.5%). By contrast, new listings in London tumbled 14.9%.

For Sold properties, eight regions reported positive month-on-month increases for July, with the best being the North-West (up by 19.7%). London sales were down the most, by 12.7%.

Stephen Watson, managing director of Agency Express, said: “This has been a surprising month for the UK property market, showing a month-on-month July increase in both new listings and sold properties for the first time since our index began in 2007, though there seem to be no real geographic variances.

“This upturn comes as a particularly pleasant surprise as certain factors were possibly expected to have a depressing effect on confidence within the market – our preoccupation with ‘double-dip recession’, the continuing Eurozone crisis, the Olympic Games and the slump in mortgage lending to first-time buyers since the end of the stamp duty concession.”