At first glance, this may seem strange but at a closer look, we can see reason and logic behind these figures. There has been a focus in the press on property bubbles along with boom and bust fears, yet this is not what we are seeing in large sectors of the market.
There are hotspots in the bigger cities where quick sales are achieving at or above home report valuations. As a result, these areas are enjoying an uplift in values. If, however, we look at other areas, whilst there is more activity, the prices being achieved are still significantly below the prices paid at the peak of the market, leaving many people facing a negative equity scenario, from which there is no immediate escape.
We are also seeing a distortion of pricing between new build properties and relatively new, second hand properties, again leaving some people stuck until prices rise.
Looking to the future, we are told we can expect good weather this summer. Yet with all forecasts, you never know until the time comes, whether we will need sun cream or umbrellas. This also applies to the residential market. There are various factors that will influence the market including the weather and the various sporting and festival events. How well Andy Murray plays affects viewers, and by default affects the market! This year, the World Cup and Commonwealth Games are also bound to play a part.
There are more serious factors including recent changes to the mortgage application processes. We are already seeing these changes delay the process, making the traditional sale and purchase transfer on the same day very difficult to achieve. Many now opt for the sale, temporary lease, and then purchase option - something that was unheard of a few years ago.
The longer term effect from the changes in the criteria for lending has still to be seen.
We also can't ignore the Referendum with less than 100 days left and the increased uncertainty which this causes, particularly for investors. Some may see it as an ideal time to sell whilst others view it as an investment opportunity.
Taking everything into account I am anticipating a fairly quiet market through the summer but an exciting and busy autumn.