So with the door firmly closed on 2012 and wide open to welcome 2013 how did we fair last year? No, not according to the reports declaring that the market has softened or that we are experiencing the after math of the double dip, but really how was it in layman’s terms here on the ground in the real world? And what can we expect from 2013? I could certainly confuse you with facts and figures but to be fair it always baffles me that most of the reports on the property market don’t actually relay the message that is going on in the real world. I certainly believe (and why wouldn’t I ) that the humble Estate Agent is the right person to give you an accurate reading as to what is really going down in the property market. Rentals were buoyant throughout 2012 with rents achieving pre credit crunch highs once again, which was excellent news for our landlords and certainly as we saw off the final month of the year there seemed to be no sign of that tailing off at all. Sales too were just as buoyant with a decent amount of investors, first time buyers and homeowners upgrading to larger properties. Lending seemed to ease up a bit and with rates still being held by the Bank of England the first time buyers certainly came out to play and take advantage of the low rates whilst they still could. Pricewise property prices showed no sign of softening at all, in fact encouragingly enough we saw most sought after developments almost arriving back at their steamy height of the market prices in 2007 to the glee of sellers. So despite the silence in the run up to the Christmas period – historically it is usually our quietest time of the year what do I think we have in store for 2013? Can anyone really gaze at the year ahead and predict what will happen? The correct answer to that is no, but what we can do is look at the current climate and the evidence of recovery around us. The ride has been bumpy over the last few years but I predict a pretty static market for the year ahead, buyers are still cautious along with the other big player in the property market the surveyors so there will be no overheating and over excitement anytime soon, instead I believe we will see consistency and realism in our market. Buyers are acutely aware of what things are worth these days and will not pay a penny more than they believe it is worth, even if the seller has had a pie in the sky valuation and agreed to run with it. The good news is, you will sell if you want to – just be realistic about your asking price and don’t walk away from a good offer. There won’t be any bargains on offer this year, just to see the development side of things buzzing again tells you everything, we are back in business it’s a moving market, but a market where hard lessons have been learned and full of buyers and sellers alike that refuse to have their fingers burned ever again. No, there’s sensible heads on sensible shoulders all round, but a satisfying smile too – the doom and gloom is over and the only way is up. Hello 2013!