2009 proved to be a turn­ing point in the prop­er­ty mar­ket, after a sig­nif­i­cant­ly qui­eter 2008.
Despite con­tin­u­al neg­a­tive nation­al media cov­er­age, local areas such as Wilm­slow con­tin­ued to see peo­ple buy­ing and sell­ing prop­er­ty freely.

Jack­son Bar­rett & Gass report­ed an annu­al increase in files opened of 43.2% in 2009 com­pared to 2008. Sig­nif­i­cant­ly, files opened were up 15.7% in 2009 when com­pared to 2007.

Sean Bar­row, a local solic­i­tor with more than 30 years expe­ri­ence of the prop­er­ty mar­ket says The fig­ures show a strong increase in activ­i­ty from 2008, which isn’t that sur­pris­ing. How­ev­er, the increase from 2007 shows a strong rise, which could be attrib­uted to the low­er activ­i­ty in 2008. Some peo­ple were either too wor­ried, or unable to move in 2008.”

The hous­ing mar­ket in 2009 also dis­plays pat­terns not tra­di­tion­al­ly seen. March and May are nor­mal­ly’ seen as the busy Spring months, with April remain­ing rel­a­tive­ly qui­et. How­ev­er, Jack­son Bar­rett & Gass opened 82.7% more files in April 2009 than 2008 and 130.4% more than April 2007.

Anoth­er unusu­al pat­tern was the com­bined months of July and August. The lat­ter espe­cial­ly, is a hol­i­day peri­od which usu­al­ly results in reduced prop­er­ty trans­ac­tions. How­ev­er, this peri­od was 80.8% high­er in 2009 than 2008, and 2.4% high­er than 2007.

Sean com­ments Again, the com­par­i­son fig­ures with 2008 could be attrib­uted to 2008 being the like­ly bot­tom of the mar­ket. How­ev­er, the increase on 2007 does show a sig­nif­i­cant increase in trans­ac­tions, espe­cial­ly as 2007 is wide­ly regard­ed as part of the prop­er­ty boom’.”

The last quar­ter is also viewed as tra­di­tion­al­ly qui­eter peri­od with the run-up to the fes­tive peri­od. Again, 2009 has defied this pat­tern. Files opened in 2009 were 65.7% high­er than 2008, and 125% high­er than 2007.

Sean com­ments This is the most reveal­ing pat­tern, which showed a con­tin­ued busy mar­ket right up until the fes­tive break. The stamp duty hol­i­day end and VAT changes can account for some of this, but my feel­ing is that this is a result of low activ­i­ty from 2008.”

So what now for the local prop­er­ty market?

Sean com­ments I imag­ine that the mar­ket may start a lit­tle slow­er in 2010 as con­sumers wait and see for fur­ther com­ment in the nation­al press as to the gen­er­al state of the economy.

Mort­gage lenders are rumored to be increas­ing Stan­dard Vari­able Rates (SVR) which could force/​tempt peo­ple to look to move. The increase in prices in 2009 will hope­ful­ly also help some avoid neg­a­tive equi­ty, but obvi­ous­ly prices can­not con­tin­ue to rise at the rate of 2009. I expect to see a slight rise in both activ­i­ty and prices in 2010.”