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Estate agents share optimistic mood about housing market - RJA Properties: Lettings Agent Manchester
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20 May 2010

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Home information packs (Hips) will be consigned to history, the Government has announced.
17 Mar 2010

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Estate agents should be subject to the same levels of regulation as letting agents, it has been been stated.
22 Jan 2010

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Thousands of Britons with holiday and retirement homes in northern Cyprus face eviction after the Court of Appeal upheld a decision that a British couple must surrender disputed land.

Estate agents share optimistic mood about housing market


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Firms report busy summer sales period, but say that banks and building societies can do more to help.


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An air of "cautious optimism" is hovering over the local property market, especially on the back of the unusually high degree of summer activity.

Things are on the up – more viewers, more offers and more interest – according to Haart branch manager Paul Saunders.

"We exceeded our budget for the month of August after 13 days," he said. "House prices have definitely steadied and, in some cases, they have risen. However, we are still nowhere near a reasonably healthy mark."

Paul was adamant that with the arrival of investment purchasers on the scene, the market had bottomed out.

But there continues to be "overstrict lending criteria", which is stalling first-time buyer activity, a critical aspect to long-term health.

Fiona Reilly, of William H Brown, in Peterborough, also reports an active summer period.

She said: "Normally we see a peak of applicants registering with us in March and then activity reduces significantly as the summer approaches, but this year the tail-off has been virtually non-existent."

Independent evidence from a leading property portal backs up this trend, reporting a record number of visitors to its site during July, with August looking set to continue in the same vein.

"We are selling more than twice as many properties as last year – nationally our July sales were up 133 per cent on July 2008, and at the moment we can't take on enough to meet demand," said Ms Reilly.

"As long as they are well presented and correctly priced, homes are selling quickly, some within days, or even hours, of becoming available.

"There is always a surge in properties coming on to the market in late September when the school holidays end, but astute sellers should be thinking about taking action now to take advantage of the number of people currently looking to buy."

Quentin Marks is another estate agent which has had increased sales over recent months, though with fewer properties coming on to the market. But that dip in supply should "turn around on the back of the greater sales," according to manager Glenn Loker.

It is a positive picture, but one which would be helped by banks and building societies "loosening up" and lending more, though in a controlled way.

"We would like to see some 95 per cent mortgages in the market – it would show confidence to the public," he said.

Garry Hone, at Taylors Estate Agents, says the housing market has been gathering pace since the start of the year, not only in Peterborough but across the UK, and now we are seeing sales levels matching those of the so-called glory days of 2006 and 2007.

He said: "We have seen a huge upsurge in potential buyers and many more first-time buyers entering the market wanting to buy before house prices rise further, and for homeowners looking to up -size, there has never been a better time to move.

"With realistic property prices we are also able to help people reinvest in today's market with the upsize in property being more affordable than it ever has been."

Peterborough Today

 
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