Tuesday, August 21, 2012

London agents looking for positive post-Olympic activity

Activity in the UK housing market has slowed after a much healthier first half to the year in comparison to the last, leaving agents hoping that the end of a string of special events, including the Queen's Jubilee and the Olympics, will see enthusiasm for those wishing to move or return to the market.

In the first six months of the year, Townends Estate Agents, who operate primarily in London, Surrey, Middlesex and North Hampshire, recorded a 29 percent rise in applicant numbers, with new instructions static and sales completed up by 20 percent.

Douglas Sleaper, Group Sales Director for Townends Estate Agents, said: “Such promising figures reflected a much more positive start to the year which was echoed across much of the South-East housing market, leaving everyone feeling quietly more confident about the market as a whole. However, this has been an exceptional year for national events which has undoubtedly encouraged more homeowners to postpone plans for moving until after the Summer.”

Early indications show that the summer months, which are typically quieter than other periods of the year, are not continuing in the same vein and this slowdown in activity has seen prices start to soften.

Sleaper continued: “The outlook so far for the summer is for price falls which will reverse the gains in value seen in the first quarter of the year. This should not discourage those wishing to move but vendors may need to adjust their prices accordingly in order to attract motivated buyers.”

Whilst the outlook for the second half of the year remains cautious, August sees the launch of the government's new £80 billion (S$157.4 billion) ‘funding for lending’ scheme, which according to Sleaper “should have the potential to increase available lending funds and ultimately stimulate market activity, depending of course on how much of the money actually makes its way into new mortgage lending at Loan-to-Value rates within reach of the average buyer”.

He concluded: “The housing market is driven by sentiment, and we hope that some much needed post-Olympic positivity, as a result of the UK’s success, will bring a flurry of early autumn activity.”

View the original article here

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