The first green shoots of recovery
After 12 months of dreadful figures in the house market and bad news from almost every front in recent months it is very encouraging to say we have seen the first green shoots of recovery in the housing market in January reports Andrew Oulsnam.
Enquiries for property, viewings and sales were all up on previous months and although this dropped back a little with the snow in February the improvement is clearly there in March. Its not a massive turnaround but any improvement and good news is very pleasing to hear about at present.
A report from Hometrack also found an increase in activity in 2009.
Buyer registrations, sales agreed and new instructions all grew in January and February, reversing a downwards trend over recent months, the report points out.
New buyer registrations rose by 17 per cent while sales agreed increased by over a third, says the report. There was also an increase in the number of properties on the market which grew by 6.7 per cent. Strongest demand was in the south of England, with London, the South East and the South West all showing evidence of more buyers starting to look for properties for sale.
This increase in activity seems broadly in line with what has taken place in recent years, Hometrack has found: ‘While the per centage increase in activity may appear relatively high the underlying transaction levels of market activity are around 60 per cent lower than they were a year ago,' said Hometrack. ‘As such this increase in market activity is off a very low base and falls well short of what could be classified as ‘green shoots of recovery'.
However there are some small signs of recovery in a few areas of the country, ‘Agents in parts of the country have reported that new properties, correctly priced, are going under offer relatively quickly - while others report multiple bids on homes, although this is the exception rather than the norm - the majority of buyers are still cautious.'
The report also found that many vendors are still seeking unrealistic prices from their properties, and says that a major turnaround in consumer confidence is required to kick-start the market properly.