An overview of the market

By Steve Huxley, of the Property People based in Gorleston, Norfolk

Looking back, we as estate agents have witnessed turbulent market conditions. We have seen property prices experiencing a sustained period of growth followed by two very difficult and, some would say, “barren” years. Overall, 2009 was a much better year for the property market than expected. At the beginning of the year we saw property prices at their lowest but by the end of 2009 things had picked up considerably. There are far more buyers looking than this time last year, and as some owners have been holding tight to see what happens, the resulting shortage of properties available to buy, compared to demand, has steadily pushed prices up. Low interest rates have encouraged buyers, especially families and those looking to get on the first rung of the property ladder. Looking ahead this year, it is very difficult to predict what will happen. There are a number of factors that will play a part: it is an election year and we have the World Cup in June when things slow down as the nation’s attention turns to the football! Recent changes to the rate of VAT and stamp duty will also have an impact. Also, although the economy is showing signs of recovery, we must be realistic about how quickly we can return to economic growth. The economy overall has shown signs of recovery and this will always have the biggest impact on the property market. It has been a tough year for homeowners, as a number of businesses have struggled to stay afloat affecting employment, but the signs from the high street and government figures are good. Things are looking much more positive and we are cautiously optimistic that the market will continue to strengthen steadily. It is a good time for people to buy when starting out and for those looking to upgrade as the prices are relative. Likewise, unless the market suddenly becomes flooded with an excess of properties versus demand, prices should hold at the very least and may continue to improve.

Steve’s on 01493 656141

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