So as we hit the halfway mark of this landmark year how is the property market fairing so far? I’m delighted to report that sales are doing very well indeed; prices are now 100% back to their glorious all time high of 2007 and in some cases even exceeding those heady prices.
Consumer confidence is up, and buyers are keener than I’ve seen in some time, although they are taking their time to find the right property and perhaps not offering quite as quickly as we have seen in the past, the sales are still being agreed in both quick and reasonable amounts of time depending on the location.
There is still plenty of money flooding into the re sale market from Asia, with many Agents taking new Development overseas and selling out within a few hours. Having met and being appointed as a ‘buyer’s agent’ for a Singaporean investor this last week he disclosed on his trip to London that his fellowmen love investing in the UK property market as property in Singapore is raging at an all-time high and they can achieve a much better investment for their money over here.
Of course as always when the sales market takes a step up the rentals market tails off slightly, showing that natural see-saw in the residential market. Although a little slower, prices in the rental market have held – this is great news for our Landlords. I believe the impact of the upcoming Olympics has added to the slight slowing of the rental market given that most tenants planned way in advance signing up for straight 12 month tenancies so that they could not be served notice during this period to secure their home, a fear many held just over a year ago.
Fewer landlords than were previously anticipated have actually served notice on their longstanding tenants to cash in on an Olympic Let, deciding that they were better off in the long run to keep their reliable tenant as opposed to making a killing but then having a possible void period both before and after the games. The double dip recession (I rarely refer to such negative statements preferring to opt for the positive side) has led economists and financial experts to predict that the base interest rate will remain at the record low level of 0.5% until 2014 and that it may not rise for another 3 – 5 years.
This will defiantly help to continue the trend to buy, with mortgages more affordable as lenders offer both low interest rates and are more flexible with deposits. What happens for the second half of the year, following the Olympics – well that’s anyone’s call, I guess we will just have to wait and see!