An encouraging start to 2009
Tue 20 Jan 2009
As estate agents, we were pleased to see the back of 2008 and even though we had anticipated a much better start to 2009, we have still been surprised by the change in buyer sentiment, especially given the relentless doom and gloom in the press. The year has started extremely well and new buyer registrations during the first two weeks of January are nearly double what they were during the same period last year and the diaries are full!
As I have indicated before, prices have dropped and in many cases this has been by up to 30%, giving incentive to a large number of buyers who have a sizeable deposit and feel it is either at, or very close to being, the best time to buy or simply that they just want to move on with their lives.
Historically low interest rates have made the proposition of purchasing a property more inviting and in many cases cheaper than renting. For investors, rental returns have recovered from their lows of 2008 to around 5% (gross) and look increasingly attractive when looking at savings rates, suggesting that we will see increased activity in the buy to let market.
Affordability is now comparable to levels last seen in June 2003 (Source: Halifax) and indicate that, as long as we dont talk ourselves deeper into a depression, we will see a return to an active property market in the coming months.In short, the much needed realignment of both the sales and lettings market is well advanced and the opportunities are immense for those looking more than six months ahead.