An unusually buoyant summer for the housing market should be followed by a "bumper" month in September, property experts claim.
The housing market defying the traditional summer lull to grow 1% in July, according to new Land Registry figures, taking the average property price in England and Wales to £164,098.
And the unusually strong summer points to a busy autumn, said Jonathan Hopper, managing director at property search consultants Garrington. "There is real momentum in the market and September could be a bumper month for sales, especially if, as predicted, the weather remains good.
"The property market depends on confidence, and confidence amongst buyers right now is as high as it's been for a number of years.
"Mark Carney's promise not to raise interest rates until unemployment levels fall below 7%, reiterated this week in Nottingham, has provided a confidence boost. People feel less vulnerable and are buying as a result.
"London property is rocketing especially at the top end of the market. Land Registry figures show sales of £1m properties up almost 30% in May, compared to 12 months ago.
"A significant percentage of these sales are to foreign investors that continue to buy up large swathes of the best real estate in the capital."
Peter Rollings, chief executive of estate agents Marsh & Parsons, said prices would continue to surge ahead, driven by strong growth in London. “The increase in transactions is testament to the fluidity of the market, which is reaching every corner of the country. With interest rates virtually guaranteed to remain low until at least 2015, many buyers will be feeling confident and ready to buy."
David Brown, commercial director of LSL Property Services, said optimism is flowing through the market. "The first-time buyer market is finally bubbling nicely after lying flat for years, and the flock of new buyers has triggered a wave of activity all the way up the housing chain. Consumer optimism is at its highest level in three years, and GDP is growing even faster than we thought.
“House prices are growing, the economy is growing, and more people are finding places to live. By any measure the property market still has problems – but by any measure things are gradually getting better.”
Land Registry figures showed the average London property rising 6.3% to £385,799 in the 12 months to July 2012.
But prices are still falling in some areas, including a 1.6% drop in the North West to on average price of £100,008 and 2.2% drop in Wales £115,419.
Prices grew on average 0.8% across England and Wales.
Alexander Gosling, director of the low-cost online estate agents, Housesimple.co.uk, said: "Declining prices in Wales and the North West are a reminder the recovery is still hot and cold. The market is strengthening without a doubt but remains volatile in areas."