Home sales in England and Wales rose 2.2pc in the first half this year to 282,086 with Felixstowe, the Suffolk port town the hotspot and Salford the weakest it is shown in a Lloyds TSB (LSE: LLOY.L - news) report covering the 500 biggest towns.
Sales in Felixstowe jumped 60pc with Brighouse, West Yorkshire up 53pc in second place while Salford recorded a 28pc fall followed by Leigh, Lancashire, down 27pc. Sales were higher in 324 towns, 60pc of them in the south, an increase of 115pc on the same period last year.
House prices in the ten areas showing the biggest increase in sales had fallen by an average of 7pc over the last four years before the pick-up.
Despite the higher sales growth in the south there were some significant differences. Yorkshire and the Humber area had the highest proportion of hotspots with almost 80pc of all towns surveyed in the region recording an increase in sales.
The south west was in second place with 77pc followed by the south east with 71pc. The lowest proportion was in the north of England were only 28pc of towns recorded a rise in sales.
Suren Thiru, Lloyds TSB housing economist, said the encouraging increase in the number of towns showing a rise iin home sales highlighted the mixed state of the housing market at local level compared with the subdued picture at national level.
"Many of the top performing towns are in areas where improved levels of affordability over recent years have helped support demand for those able to enter the housing market," she said.