What a difference six months and a New Year can make.The press is full of positive messages with an upturn in the markets, the winter Olympics and the Commonwealth Games. But what of the Residential Property Market? We have seen a substantial shift; general positivity in the market, pent up demand, easing on mortgage funding and "help to buy" schemes have all had a positive effect.
At Morton Fraser, we have seen a huge uplift in activity and closing dates are back with a vengeance.Acting for sellers and purchasers, we are looking at properties with multiple notes of interest and successful closing dates leading to agreed prices above the home report value. This is a marked change from this same time last year.
The immediate issue facing buyers is a lack of supply that might lead to an increase in the prices paid.The ESPC statistics for January show an increase in the number of sales of 80%, while the number of properties coming to the market only went up by 26%. In real terms, this resulted in a shortage of properties to buy.
This is partly driven by the traditional mind set, that you should wait until spring before going to the market, so hopefully this coming spring will see more properties coming up for sale and more of a balance being restored. Don't feel you have to wait for spring though.
There is no substantial evidence that we are heading for a bubble and figures suggest that the average house price has dropped. As always, I would caution that average figures should be looked at with a health warning. The drop in the average price is in part driven by the increased activity due to the return of the first time buyer, as funding becomes more available and the buy to let market picks up.
All in all, I am cautiously optimistic that 2014 will be a great year for Residential Property.