Well, how was 2009 for you?
For the property business locally what started with a whimper has ended with a bang! While quarter one recorded the worst of the price falls from the November 2007 high, by the first signs of Spring, green shoots as well as daffodils and snowdrops were being seen.
The market has seen a dramatic improvement in fortunes this year. Most of the major surveys suggest the market bottomed out – at least for now – between March and April. That followed a sharp fall of around 20% between the autumn of 2007 and the spring of 2009.
The most impressive bounce back has been seen on the Nationwide index, which now has prices up by 2.7% annually. The market seems to have been at its most buoyant over summer and early autumn, with asking prices and leaping at that point and some property websites suggest that seller’s expectations have since eased. The brains behind the major surveys seem pretty much agreed that a lack of supply has been a major market driver in 2009: would-be sellers are holding back on the hope that the market will recover and give them a selling price closer to the valuations of 2007.
This year’s recovery has come from a historically low base and the steady climb has surprised all but the most ardent optimists. However, any recovery is fragile and could easily be hampered by rising mortgage rates, the stuttering economy, rising unemployment and an increase in the supply of homes for sale.
There is also a growing feeling that people are ‘bored’ of the whole recession business and putting their lives on hold, and we are likely to see some of this pent up demand from those who need to buy filtering into the market in the new year.
So what about next year I hear you ask? We feel those looking to sell their home in 2010 should not be put off by the general election, nor adopt a wait-and-see stance – as they are unlikely to be able to achieve the extra ten per cent or so they might be hoping for. If you put your house on the market in 2010 at a realistic price, you should find a buyer, as seller and buyer expectations are closer now than they have been for many years.
Wishing you a peaceful Christmas and a prosperous New Year.!
Michael Delaney, Lane & Bennetts