Home Front logoMy, what a great year 2013 is turning out to be for the property market so far! Now at the halfway point of the year I am happy to report that after a hard few years of bumbling along following the slide the buzz is back and back with a vengeance. I have not seen the flurry of activity in the agency world like this in a while and I can tell you it feels great to see both sellers and buyers confidence returning and the excitement of selling and buying now having the exhilaration it used to before the recession hit. The government’s new schemes to help buyers released a couple of months ago has definitely contributed to the sudden rise of buyers looking and in turn has had a huge impact on prices, driving them up as demand is outstripping supply on some sought after developments. The Home Builders Federation (HBF) said 4,000 people had reserved a new home under the scheme, and that interest had been “huge” with more than 500 buyers taking advantage of it each week. The figures come last week as mortgage lender Halifax reported a 0.4% rise in UK house prices in May and said the annual rate of growth was at its highest level in more than two-and-a-half years. I have had several instances of more than one buyer battling it out to secure a property resulting in the properties going for higher than the asking price, again something that has been unheard of for a few years now. Given that the lenders still continue to tread cautiously when agreeing funding these days I think the growth will be sustainable, especially since so many buyers had their fingers burnt in the past. I don’t believe anyone will ever be quite so blasé when entering into a property purchase as they did back in 2007. Many buyers and investors came unstuck back then for allowing themselves to become overexcited at the speed of the growth in the property market at that time, resulting in repossessions and developers forcing buyers to complete on property they had exchanged on but were hoping to rescind their contracts on due to the bottom dropping out of the market and their property not being worth what that actually paid for it on exchange with the developer. Tough times but all a distant memory now by the looks of things. Some more good news for potential buyers is that the second part of the Help to Buy scheme, when the government will guarantee mortgages, starts in January 2014. Let’s hope the current growth we are seeing rolls on into 2014 and beyond.