Housing market boosted by January sales
In the first two weeks of 2005, applicant levels at haart’s branches surged by over twelve times to the highest level since July 2004.
Commenting on the figures Russell Jervis, managing director of haart estate agents said: “Successive price falls during the second half of last year mean that there are now some very attractively priced properties out there. In effect, the housing market is having a January sale, and buyers should strike now to get the best bargains.”
The increase in applicant levels follows a drop of 92% from last year’s peak in July. Russell Jervis adds: “Confidence in the housing market during the second half of 2004 was destroyed by interest rate rises and continued speculation of a property crash. The last interest rate rise in August was a step too far for the housing market as prices were already falling – it only served to create anxiety and panic in the market which dramatically curbed activity”.
Those trying to buy their first property were hit hard by last year’s high prices and interest rate increases, but after falling to dangerously low levels, the proportion of first-time buyers is starting to recover and leading to increased activity further up the property chain.
Russell Jervis explains: “First-time buyer levels fell to 18% during 2004 but this year levels are set to rise to 25% of the market. This will free up the bottom end of the housing transaction ladder and provide liquidity in the market place. All good news for buyers and sellers in 2005.”